Original Article

Enhanced vs Standard Parents as Teacher Curriculum on Factors Related to Infant Feeding among African American Women

Authors: Lisa Tussing-Humphreys, PhD, MS, RD, Jessica L. Thomson, PhD, Melissa Goodman, PhD, Alicia Landry, PhD, RD


Objectives: To determine the comparative impact of the standard Parents as Teachers (PAT) to the nutrition and physical activity enhanced version (PATE) of the perinatal educational curriculum on compliance with infant feeding recommendations and changes in maternal infant feeding knowledge and beliefs.

Methods: Women at least 18 years of age, <19 weeks pregnant, and residing in three Mississippi counties were randomized to the standard PAT or the PATE version of the perinatal educational curriculum. Infant diets were assessed via 24-hour diet recall at postnatal months 1 to 12. Maternal knowledge and beliefs about infant feeding were assessed via survey at baseline and postnatal month 12. Compliance with infant feeding recommendations and differences in compliance between treatment arms were assessed using Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Longitudinal changes in maternal knowledge and beliefs were assessed with McNemar tests of symmetry.

Results: Postnatal retention for the PAT and PATE arms were 83% (25/30) and 88% (21/24). Compliance with feeding recommendations for PAT and PATE participants, respectively, was 40% and 63% for no solid food before 6 months; 23% and 21% for no sugar-sweetened beverages before 12 months; 100% (both) for no fruit juice before 6 months; and 43% and 46% for no snack chips, French fries, and other fried food and candy before 12 months. Median times to feeding sugar-sweetened beverages were 10.1 and 9.6 months in PAT and PATE arms. Significant differences in compliance between arms were not found (P > 0.05). Participants’ knowledge and beliefs about infant feeding were generally in agreement with expert recommendations at baseline, with few changes over time or between arms.

Conclusions: Findings suggest the need for further intervention focused on translating knowledge into action to improve diets of weaning infants in this region of the United States.

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