Author(s): Mennella JA, Turnbull B, Ziegler PJ, Martinez H
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The study explored the maternal beliefs and practices related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and infant feeding among women living in several regions in Mexico. We hypothesized that, despite the culinary diversity within Mexico, there would be similar patterns in the types of flavors and foods eaten by mothers and fed to infants. DESIGN: A structured interview was conducted through personal interviews with mothers during routine visits to their local family medical units. The units were located in four regions in Mexico that represent the diversity of culinary practices characteristic of the country. SUBJECTS: A random sample of 101 women whose infants ranged in age from 6 days to 9 months. RESULTS: Although the vast majority of mothers knew of its benefits and nursed their infants, breastfeeding during the first week of life was not exclusive; approximately one third of the infants were also fed teas, water, and/or formula. The feeding of teas continued throughout infancy in three of the regions, but the flavor of the tea differed. There were also regional similarities in the foods chosen and avoided during pregnancy and lactation and the type of first foods offered to the infants. CONCLUSIONS: The similarities in the types of foods fed to infants and eaten more of by mothers during pregnancy suggest that these cultural and regional practices contribute to the development of strong preferences for regional cuisines. The foods eaten by the mother during pregnancy and lactation form the basis of the child's weaning patterns.
This article was published in J Am Diet Assoc
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health