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Revista chilena de pediatría

versión impresa ISSN 0370-4106


FORERO T., Yibby; ACEVEDO R., María José; HERNANDEZ M., Jenny Alexandra  y  MORALES S., Gina Emely. Complementary feeding: A practice between two knowledges. Rev. chil. pediatr. [online]. 2018, vol.89, n.5, pp.612-620. ISSN 0370-4106.


The complementary feeding (CF) comprises a period in the life of the infant that starts with the introduction of foods other than breast-milk. It is determined by social and environmental factors which facilitate or limit the appropriate initiation of this practice, directly affecting the nutri tional and health status of children.


To identify barriers and facilities for the follow-up of nutritional recommendations regarding the early start of CF in children between 0 and 24 months of age belonging to a comprehensive early childhood care program.

Materials and methods:

Phenome nological, longitudinal, qualitative study in which 43 in-depth interviews and 11 focus-groups were carried out. Predefined categories were the context of the mother, representations and experiences of gestation, meanings and experiences of breastfeeding (BF), and CF. The analysis included the rela tionships between the units of meaning and predefined and emerging categories.


The CF is a social practice which is the result of medical and popular knowledge mixture, however, the degree of influence that the latter has on mothers is higher due to the degree of support that they have from their close circle, especially from mothers, grandmothers, and women of the family. The lack of con ceptual and practical knowledge about exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) and CF prevents mothers from carrying out good practices. Most of them do not know clearly what is involved in the EBF, resulting in an early start of CF, or do not have objective criteria to assess their milk production. Despite having received specific training, CF started early in most cases, a fact in which close family influence was decisive.


The CF experience is strongly influenced by sociocultural aspects not only of the mother but of her immediate circle, and the recommendations they received from health pro fessionals are not enough to change their practices. Therefore, it is necessary to improve CF support interventions.

Palabras clave : Practice; Complementary feeding; Infants; Breastfeeding.

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