Background: Over the last decades it has been brought to our attention that breast-fed infants generally exhibit a different growthpattern than formulafed infants. The average weightgain of the former is greater than that of the latter the first 3-4 months, and relatively lower from 3-12 months.
Until 2006 the recommended growthreference by WHO was primarily based on formulated infants. The growth of breastfed infants deviated negativily from this reference. WHO released a new growth standard i 2006 based on breastfed infants. This standard reflects how children should grow when provided optimal conditions and is recommended used worldwide.
The aim of my study was to investigate the growth characteristic of infants 8-9 months of age at a health centre in Buenos Aires, and see if they grew within the normal range according to WHOs growth standard. Furthermore, to find whether a growth pattern difference is present between exclusively breastfed infants and those being bottlefed.
Methods: Data were collected from all term-born children, 8-9 months of age, who came for a routine check-up at the health care centre at Consultorios Externos del Sanatorio Modelo de Caseros, Buenos Aires, in September to October 2011. Weight and length at birth, and at 3 and 6 months were collected in addition to current measurements. Also, the mother filled in a questionnaire about feeding-mode.
Results: A total of 45 infants were included, 26 girls and 19 boys. 42.4% were exclusively breastfed for 6 months. According to WHO´s growth standard I found that 2/22 (9%) of the girls were classified as overweight (weight/length percentile > 97.7) at birth. The same was found at 3-3.5 months. In addition 2/22 (9%) of the girls were considered as underweight (weight/length percentile < 2.3). At 6-6.5 months 1/26 (3.8%) was classified as overweight among the girls, 1/19 (5.2%) among the boys. The same was found at the current check-up. There was no significant difference in weight and length between breastfed and bottlefed infants.
Conclusion: The majority of the infants grew within the normal range according to WHO´s growth standard. Breastfed infants had a relatively slower weightgain from 6-9 months supporting current knowledge.