Brazilian health professionals’ perception about the Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) method for complementary feeding: an exploratory study

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Abstract

Objective: To describe Brazilian health professionals’ perception about the Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) method use for complementary feeding. Methods: Cross-sectional, descriptive study including 458 health professionals graduated in Nursing, Speech Therapy, Medicine, Nutrition or Dentistry and working in Pediatrics, being directly or indirectly involved with pediatric nutrition. We used a convenience non-probability sampling. The questionnaire applied to participants addressed demographic characteristics, academic degree, workplace, knowledge about clinical practice and perceptions about the possible advantages of the BLW method. Results: Participants had a mean age of 34.5±8.5 years, 64.6% of them working in Southeast Brazil and 65.3% being nutritionists. Most participants reported being acquainted with the BLW method (82.0%). Regarding clinical practice, 38.3% mentioned having recommended the BLW some times, 37.5% often and 20.5% always. Most participants fully agreed that the BLW method could have advantages for babies, for example, having them more likely to share family meals, facilitating adaptation to food flavors and consistencies, enhancing chewing and favoring the development of motor skills. On the other hand, important disagreements were also expressed regarding the BLW convenience and the possibility to create less concerns or anxiety in parents. Conclusions: The BLW method reported as advantageous, but disagreements were also raised, probably because scientific evidences on the suject are scarse. Further investigation is needed so we can better understand the risks and benefits and health care professionals can feel effectively assisted to offer support and advice to parents and caretakers.

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Neves, F. S., Romano, B. M., Campos, A. A. L., Pavam, C. A., Oliveira, R. M. S., Cândido, A. P. C., & Netto, M. P. (2022). Brazilian health professionals’ perception about the Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) method for complementary feeding: an exploratory study. Revista Paulista de Pediatria, 40. https://doi.org/10.1590/1984-0462/2022/40/2020321

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