Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2003
Publication Date: 5/1/2004
Citation: Heird, W.C. 2004. The feeding of infants and children. In: Behrman, R.E., Kleigman, R.M., Jenson, H.B., editors. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 17th edition. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Sanders. p. 157-167. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The establishment of feeding practices that are comfortable and satisfying for both the mother and the infant is crucial for the emotional well being of both and for assuring adequate nutrient intakes for the infant. Maternal feelings are readily transmitted to the infant and are a major determinant of the emotional setting in which feeding takes place. Thus, mothers who are tense, anxious, irritable, easily upset, or emotionally labile are more likely to experience a difficult feeding relationship. However, appropriate guidance and support from an empathetic and experienced relative, friend, lactation consultant, or physician can increase such a mother's confidence which, in turn, makes her more relaxed and increases the likelihood of establishing successful feeding practices, not only during infancy but throughout childhood and beyond.