Complementary feeding is central to an infant’s growth and development. There are two main approaches to complementary feeding: baby-led and traditional. The baby-led approach allows the infant to feed themselves solid foods during the family mealtime. The traditional approach involves parents feeding the infant pureed foods. This study aimed to explore mothers’ approaches to and experiences with complementary feeding. Thirteen mothers completed the two-phase study, ﬁrst utilising photo-voice to collect photographs of their complementary feeding experience, followed by participating in a focus group. Focus groups were segregated according to complementary feeding approach (baby-led or traditional) based on content analysis of participant photographs and were audio-taped and transcribed. Interpretive thematic analysis of the baby-led and traditional transcripts occurred separately, then compared for similar and divergent themes. Four main themes emerged: (1) Infant centred complementary feeding; (2) Mother centred complementary feeding; (3) Redeﬁning the baby-led approach; and (4) Research and advice. While mothers adopting both approaches discussed all themes; those using a baby-led approach discussed the infant centred complementary feeding theme further. The baby-led approach was redeﬁned and used practically according to mothers’ food ideals. Mothers adopting a aby-led approach appeared empowered to do independent complementary feeding research while those using a traditional approach seemed to willingly accept health professional advice. This study offers a valuable insight into mothers’ experiences with complementary feeding in the Australian context and may assist health professionals to understand mothers’ experiences and tailor their care accordingly.
32nd Dietitians Association of Australian National Conference, Perth, Australia 13-16 May 2015
Nutrition and Dietetics / Vol. 72, Supplement 1, pp.46