Factors associated with length and weight gain rates during the first six months of life
The study aimed to verify factors associated with weight (WGR) and length (LGR) gain rates of infants during their first 4 to 6 months of life. A cross-sectional study with secondary data analysis, that collected information on medical charts of 371 infants followed during their first six months of life by the Lactation Support Program. The WGR and length LGR gain of infants from birth to 4-6 months old were calculated. Factors associated with WGR and LGR were examined by multiple linear regression analysis. We found that female infants and those that were not exclusively or predominantly breastfed had lower WGR at 4-6 months. Infants whose mothers were not living with a partner, infants of working mothers, and mothers that had less than six prenatal visits during their pregnancy had a lower LGR. Infants with a greater birth length also had a lower LGR at 4-6 months. The results of this study highlight the diversity of factors the may be associated with the length and weight gain rate during the first months of life, such as breastfeeding, prenatal care and socioeconomic variables. The early identification of factors related to infants growth can direct actions promote a proper development on that stage.