Pan African Medical Journal

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Comparison of the complementary feeding practices between mothers with twins and mothers with singletons

Helena Joycelyn Bentil, Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, Anna Lartey


Introduction: several studies have been done on infant feeding practices but few have focused on twins. The aim of this study was to compare the complementary feeding practices between mothers with twins and mothers with singletons. Methods: mother-infant pairs (50 mother-twin pairs and 50 mother-singleton pairs) with children aged 6 to 23 months were recruited from two public health clinics and communities in Tema and Ashaiman. Information was collected on the background characteristics of the mothers. Recumbent length and weight of the children were measured. Dietary information on the infants was collected using 24 hour recall. The differences between two groups were tested using independent t-student test for continuous variables and chi-square test for categorical variables. Results: the minimum dietary diversity (4+ food groups) was met by only 32% of the twins and 40% of the singletons, and 28% of the twins and 38% of the singletons met the requirement for minimum acceptable diet (minimum dietary diversity and the minimum meal frequency). Minimum meal frequency was met by 78% of the twins and 76% of the singletons. There were no significant differences between the two groups of infants. Prevalence of undernutrition was not significantly different among the two groups (twins versus singletons: underweight-26% versus 24%, stunting-20% versus 24% and wasting-14% versus 10%. Conclusion: complementary feeding practices were suboptimal in both groups of mothers requiring interventions to improve infant feeding practices.

The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24
AJOL African Journals Online