Abstract: The study was aimed to assess the effect of breast feeding practices on the body composition of child-mother and to evaluate the iron status of lactating mothers. Forty six lactating mothers and their children (forty eight) were recruited at the Teaching Hospital Vaccination Centre, Yaounde. Anthropometric measurements including Body Mass Index (BMI) and skinfold thickness were done on children and their mothers. Total Body Water (TBW), Intracellular Water (ICW), Extracellular Water (ECW) and Fat Mass (FM) of mothers were estimated by monofrequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). The hemoglobin level was determined to assess the iron status of mothers. The results obtained showed that the mean value of mothers BMI irrespective of their age or type of breastfeeding practices was within the overweight limit. However, when separately analysed, 26.1% of mothers recorded normal Body Mass Index against 19.6 and 52.7% whos BMI fell in the obese and overweight categories, respectively. The TBW and FM of mothers varied from 21.7-43.7 and 12.2-46.2 kg, respectively. According to the World Health Organisation criteria for underweight and malnutrition, 73.3% of children mixed breastfed had normal growth pattern whereas only 35.5% of exclusively breastfed children experienced normal growth pattern. About 67.7% of women irrespective of age or socio-economic status practised exclusive breastfeeding whereas 28.3 and 4.3% fed their babies using mixed and artificial breastfeeding, respectively. According to the hemoglobin level, 26.08% of lactating mothers were anemic while 73.92% were normal.
Patrice Djiele Ngameni, Chelea Matchawe, Estelle Sajo Nana and Honorine Rikong Adie, 2011. The Effect of Breast Feeding Practices on the Body Composition of Infants and Their Mothers Living in Urban Area Cameroon. Journal of Food Technology, 9: 150-154.