Attitudes and practices of family paediatricians in Italy regarding infant feeding
Article first published online: 17 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Author(s)/Acta Pædiatrica © 2012 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica
Volume 101, Issue 10, pages 1063–1068, October 2012
How to Cite
Radaelli, G., Riva, E., Verduci, E., Agosti, M. and Giovannini, M. (2012), Attitudes and practices of family paediatricians in Italy regarding infant feeding. Acta Paediatrica, 101: 1063–1068. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02769.x
- Issue published online: 29 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 17 JUL 2012
- Received 5 March 2012; revised 15 May 2012; accepted 15 June 2012.
- Complementary feeding
Aim: The aim of this study was to examine attitudes and practices of family paediatricians in Italy towards infant feeding.
Methods: A questionnaire was sent to 850 paediatricians across Italy, asking about attitudes and practices towards infant feeding with focus on the World Health Organization’s criteria.
Results: The response rate was 91.2%. Breastfeeding is recommended for 6–11 months (70.6%) or longer (29.4%). A 95% of paediatricians recommend introducing complementary foods throughout 4–5.9 months. Among paediatricians who give indications about the minimum acceptable diet (61.7%), recommendations agree with WHO in 71.3% and 83.3% of cases for infants aged 6–8 or 9–11 months, respectively. A 95.6% of paediatricians recommend consumption of meat for infants aged 6 months or more, and 98.4% use of formula milk for infants having breastfeeding stopped in the first year of life. Paediatricians reported own experience (73.4%) and reading (54.2%) as main sources of information. A 70% of paediatricians know the WHO/Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices criteria regarding breastfeeding but <5% the complementary feeding indicators.
Conclusion: Family paediatricians in Italy have positive disposition towards infant feeding but their knowledge and practices are suboptimal with respect to the WHO criteria, especially regarding complementary feeding.