Improving Early Infant Feeding Practices with an Evidence Based Education Handout
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Nearly half of all infants are introduced to solid food before the recommended age. The World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics have established guidelines encouraging parents to delay solid food introduction until six months of age. Evidence indicates that introducing solid food prematurely can be problematic for infants because they may not be developmentally prepared and it can lead to an increase in infectious disease, atopic disease, and childhood obesity. The decision to introduce solid foods can be influenced by social support systems and advice from pediatric primary care providers. The purpose of this one group, quasi experimental pretest-posttest design was to determine if evidence based infant feeding education improved parental intention to delay solid foods until six month of age in a primary care pediatric setting. Data collected using a modified Infant Feeding Intentions Scale (IFI) was used to compare parental intention to introduce solid food before and after the educational handout. Nine patients in a Des Moines, Iowa primary care pediatric clinic participated in the intervention provided by five pediatric providers. The results of this DNP project did not show an improvement in parental intent to delay solid food; however, the actual timing of solid food introduction was 5.5 months which is greater than the national average. Delaying solid food to infants can have a major impact on pediatric healthcare including a low incidence of comorbidities related to infectious diseases, atopic disease, and obesity and a decrease in healthcare costs associated with the comorbidities.
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