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Breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices among children living in a rice surplus area, Central Java, Indonesia

Ziba Barati (Institute of Agricultural Engineering in the Tropics and Subtropics, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)
Ratna Chrismiari Purwestri (Institute of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)
Nia Novita Wirawan (Faculty of Medicine, Nutrition Department, University of Brawijaya, Malang, Indonesia)
Damaris Elisabeth Beitze (Institute of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)
Leila Srour (Health Frontiers Lao, Vientiane, Laos)
Jens Moehring (Institute of Biostatistics, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)
Veronika Scherbaum (Institute of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 21 June 2018

Issue publication date: 10 July 2018

381

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices among children less than five years old and living in a rice surplus area in Demak Regency, Central Java.

Design/methodology/approach

From December 2014 to February 2015, a cross-sectional survey was carried out in Demak, which had a high proportion of undernourished children despite high rice production. In total, 384 mothers having children below five years old from farmer family background were interviewed using a structured questionnaire about sociodemographic parameters and child feeding practices. Food habits were also investigated among these women during two focus group discussions in two selected sub-districts.

Findings

Only 10.9 per cent of the children were exclusively breastfed for six months. About 60 per cent of the mothers practiced supplementary feeding in addition to breastfeeding and started complementary feeding too early. Duration of exclusive breastfeeding practice and child’s age at onset of complementary feeding were positively correlated (p = 0.04). The main reasons of supplementary feeding and too early introduction of complementary food were based on the elderly women’s opinions, and the very short duration of maternity leave for employed mothers. Mothers with a low education level had a higher chance of not reaching the optimum score of complementary feeding practices (p = 0.012).

Originality/value

Despite a high level of food security in the project area, inadequate knowledge of young child feeding practices has contributed to sub-optimal breastfeeding practices. Higher educated women were more likely to follow optimal complementary feeding practices. Therefore, promotion of breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices targeting all key actors should be implemented in the study area to prevent undernutrition among infants.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Neys-van Hoogstraten Foundation for its financial support (IN252). Dr Ratna Chrismiari Purwestri was also funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the project Humboldt reloaded (01PL11003) at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. The authors gratefully thank the statistical advice from Professor Hans-Peter Piepho and appreciate the respondents in Demak Regency and Dr Clark Capshaw for proof reading the earlier draft of this paper.

Citation

Barati, Z., Purwestri, R.C., Wirawan, N.N., Beitze, D.E., Srour, L., Moehring, J. and Scherbaum, V. (2018), "Breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices among children living in a rice surplus area, Central Java, Indonesia", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 48 No. 4, pp. 589-604. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-07-2017-0144

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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