Comparison between infants receiving traditional supplements (camel thorn, flix weed, and sugar water) and exclusively breast fed infants

Document Type: Short communication

Authors

Neonatal Research center, Ghaem hospital, school of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Objectives: Although breast milk is considered the best nutritional option for neonates, use of traditional supplements such as sugar water, camel thorn, and flix weed in the first week of life of infants is quite common in Iran and many other countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether consuming such supplements has any impact on infant’s breastfeeding behavior.
Materials and Methods: Four hundred fifty four term infants who were referred to the neonatal clinic of Ghaem hospital were enrolled and divided into two groups. Control (exclusively breastfed infants, N=243) and case (breast milk feeding plus traditional remedies such as sugar water, camel thorn, and flix weed, N=211). Spss 19.5 was used for statistical analysis. T-test and Man-Whitney tests were used. A p-value of Results: The two groups were similar in their baseline data. Regarding duration of breastfeeding and breastfeeding frequency, use of these supplements resulted in a reduction in both breastfeeding frequency and duration (p<0.05). Breastfeeding problems such as poor let-down reflex and incorrect breastfeeding position were more common among mothers feeding these supplements to their infants. Moreover, infants with delayed initiation of first breastfeeding were more likely to receive these supplements.
Conclusions: Based on the results of this study, feeding infants with sugar water, camel's thorn, and flix weed is clearly associated with breast feeding problems such as poor let down reflex and incorrect breast feeding position. Use of these supplements resulted in a reduction in frequency and duration of breast feeding. Infants with delayed initiation of breast feeding are more likely to receive these supplementations. Therefore, any attempts to improve the community's culture would be of great benefit to the health and well being of our babies.

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