Reasons for Prolonged Bottle-Feeding and Iron Deficiency Among Mexican-American Toddlers: An Ethnographic Study

Jane M. Brotanek, Damon Schroer, Lee Valentyn, Sandy Tomany-Korman, Glenn Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Several studies have shown that prolonged bottle-feeding is associated with iron deficiency. Mexican-American toddlers are the racial/ethnic group at greatest risk for prolonged bottle-feeding and iron deficiency, yet no studies have examined reasons for prolonged bottle-feeding in Mexican-American toddlers. The objective of this study was to assess infant feeding beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors among Mexican-American parents. Methods: Ethnographic interviews were conducted of parents of Mexican-American toddlers 15 to 48 months old at 3 community sites. A 31-question moderator's guide addressed 4 domains: knowledge and cultural beliefs; sources of nutritional information; anticipatory guidance; and suggestions for ways to change infant feeding practices. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using grounded theory. Results: Thirty-nine parents were interviewed; the mean parental age was 29 years, and mean child age, 2.2 years. Parents cited convenience as a reason for prolonged bottle-feeding, and believed that they should give toddlers as much milk as they want. Many parents lacked essential knowledge regarding infant feeding practices and iron deficiency, including when to stop bottle-feeding, health problems caused by prolonged bottle-feeding, the quantity of milk to give a child >1 year old, and iron deficiency as a complication of prolonged bottle-feeding. Parents reported not receiving enough education from physicians, and they supported educational interventions on healthy infant feeding practices, including refrigerator magnet charts, videos, brochures, and teaching by physicians. Conclusions: Parents of Mexican-American toddlers often are unaware of the adverse consequences of prolonged bottle-feeding and developmental problems associated with iron deficiency. Parents supported educational interventions, including videos, brochures, and refrigerator magnet charts on healthy infant feeding practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Fingerprint

Bottle Feeding
Iron
Parents
Pamphlets
Magnets
Milk
Interviews
Physicians
Ethnic Groups
Teaching
Education

Keywords

  • disparities
  • early childhood
  • Hispanic Americans
  • iron deficiency
  • nutrition
  • racial/ethnic minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Reasons for Prolonged Bottle-Feeding and Iron Deficiency Among Mexican-American Toddlers : An Ethnographic Study. / Brotanek, Jane M.; Schroer, Damon; Valentyn, Lee; Tomany-Korman, Sandy; Flores, Glenn.

In: Academic Pediatrics, Vol. 9, No. 1, 01.2009, p. 17-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brotanek, Jane M. ; Schroer, Damon ; Valentyn, Lee ; Tomany-Korman, Sandy ; Flores, Glenn. / Reasons for Prolonged Bottle-Feeding and Iron Deficiency Among Mexican-American Toddlers : An Ethnographic Study. In: Academic Pediatrics. 2009 ; Vol. 9, No. 1. pp. 17-25.
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