Menu ENN Search

Hot weather impacts infant feeding practices in low- and middle-income countries

View this article as a pdf

Lisez cet article en français ici

This is a summary of the following report: Edney JM, Kovats S, Filippi V et al (2022) A systematic review of hot weather impacts on infant feeding practices in low- and middle-income countries. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 10, 930348. https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2022.930348

Due to concern that increased hot weather led to a rise in supplemental feeding rates due to infants requiring additonal fluids or the perception that infants are dehydrated, the authors conducted a systematic review of published studies to understand how hot weather conditions may impact infant feeding practices. They first reviewed evidence to consider whether exclusively breastfed infants could maintain hydration levels under hot weather conditions, assessing indicators of infant hydration such as urine concentration measures, total fluid intake or infant weight changes. They then examined the available literature on infant feeding practices in hot weather.

The 18 studies that met the inclusion criteria after they were assessed according to predetermined quality checklists showed no evidence that exclusively breastfed infants required additional water or other liquids. The authors found that exclusively breastfed infants maintain normal hydration levels without concentrating urine to maximal levels. Supplementary water also does not appear necessary for exclusively breastfed infants that are low birthweight or born near-term.

The authors describe multiple potential pathways by which hot temperatures and weather may influence infant feeding practices, including fear of infant dehydration and the belief that infants require water and/or other liquids alongside breastmilk in hot weather or seasons. Other factors that are highly seasonal and/or weather-dependent, and which could be associated with reduced time spent breastfeeding, include demands on a woman’s time (work or childcare); the infant’s season of birth, which modifies the mother’s experience of social support and infant feeding practices; school holidays taking place during hot, dry months and placing more childcare responsibilities on breastfeeding mothers; and periods of higher prevalence of diarrhoeal disease, when women are less inclined to supplement breastfeeding for fear of giving infants contaminated water. In some settings, healthcare providers and relatives continue to advise water supplementation in hot weather or during the warm seasons.

Increased rates of exclusive breastfeeding could significantly improve infant survival in low- and middle-income countries. The authors conclude that, overall, there is evidence to support the WHO and UNICEF guidelines recommending that healthy infants should be fed exclusively with breastmilk, regardless of weather conditions. However, they still call for further research in countries bearing the brunt of climate change. Families and healthcare providers should be advised that exclusive breastfeeding is recommended even in hot conditions.

More like this

Resource: Breastfeeding only milk: No need for water supplementation for exclusively breast-fed infants under hot and arid conditions

No need for water supplementation for exclusively breast-fed infants under hot and arid conditions. Almroth S & Bidinger PD, Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1990...

en-net: PREDOMINANT BREASTFEEDING

In the 0-5 month range, are exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding exclusive categories? In reports, MICS found, for example, 30% exclusive breastfeeding and predominant...

Resource: Breastfeeding only milk: Water requirements of breast-fed infants in a hot climate

Almroth SG. Am J Clin Nutr 1978 Jul;31(7):1154-7 Death from dehydration is not due to lack of water, but electrolyte imbalance. These babies have a diet with such a low renal...

FEX: Assessing the intervention on infant feeding in Gaza 2008

By Susan Thurstans and Vicky Sibson Susan Thurstans has been part of the emergency response team for nutrition with Save the Children UK since January 2009 and previously...

FEX: Infant Feeding Patterns and Risk of Death

Summary of published paper1 Current WHO guidelines recommend that HIV positive mothers should avoid breastfeeding only if replacement feeding is acceptable, feasible,...

FEX: Barriers to exclusive breastfeeding among children in Gedo region, Somalia

By Rowena Ndakwe and Dr Abdi Tari Rowena Ndakwe is the current MEAL Coordinator for Trócaire Somalia, with over five years' experience in monitoring, evaluation,...

FEX: Diet and renal function in malnutrition

Summary of presentation1 Supplementary suckling (SS) has revolutionised management of young, malnourished infants Water balance in young, malnourished infants Water is an...

FEX: Addressing child wellbeing among ‘skip-generation’ households in Cambodia

View this article as a pdf This article outlines an innovative approach that targets grandmothers to improve child nutrition outcomes among Cambodian skip-generation...

FEX: Infant feeding and HIV transmission

Summary of Published paper The observation that mother-to-child transmission by HIV-1 infected women can occur through breastfeeding has resulted in policies that recommend...

FEX: Counselling on infant feeding choice: Some practical realities from South Africa

By Tanya Doherty (pictured), Mickey Chopra and Mike Colvin Tanya is currently a senior scientist at the Health Systems Trust and Medical Research Council in Capetown, South...

en-net: breastfeeding

What knowledge gaps are there currently in breastfeeding? What are some of the challenges mothers are getting in practising exclusive breasfeeding, especially in third world...

FEX: Infant Feeding in Emergencies: Recurring Challenges

Published Report By Marie McGrath The importance of infant feeding in emergencies has been highlighted during recent emergencies in countries such as Iraq and Bosnia, where...

FEX: Early Exclusive Breastfeeding Increases HIV Survival

Summary of published paper1 The promotion of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) to reduce the postnatal transmission (PNT) of HIV is based on limited data. The recently published...

FEX: Challenges of IYCF and psychosocial support in Lebanon

By Juliette Seguin Juliette Seguin is currently Health and Nutrition Coordinator for ACF Lebanon. She has been working with ACF since 2011 in Haiti, Guinea, Bangladesh, Turkey...

FEX: Responding to nutrition gaps in Jordan in the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Infant and Young Child Feeding education and malnutrition treatment

By Gabriele Fänder and Megan Frega Gabriele Fänder is the Regional Health and Nutrition Advisor with Medair in the Syria Crisis Response Programme, based in Amman....

en-net: Water allocation for lactating women

Hi, I was wondering if someone here could tell me if there is a recommendation on how much water be allocated to lactating women in hot weather? Thank...

FEX: Breastfeeding Support Groups in Tajikistan

Uma Palaniappan and Zinaida Abdullaeva Uma Palaniappan & Zinaida Abdullaeva Uma Palaniappan is the Nutrition Programme Manager of Action Against Hunger in Kurgan Tyube in...

Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E)

Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) What is IYCF-E? In emergencies, child deaths can be two to seventy times higher than the average rate. For pregnant and...

FEX: Infant Feeding in Emergencies: Experiences from Indonesia and Lebanon

By Ali Maclaine and Mary Corbett Ali Maclaine has a MSc in Human Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has been involved in infant feeding and...

en-net: Safe alternatives to breast milk in rural sub-Saharan Africa that are not formula milk?

In South Sudan, many women report not being able to breastfeed. Whilst in some cases this is about traditional beliefs and practices around infant feeding, maternal nutrition...

Close

Reference this page

Hot weather impacts infant feeding practices in low- and middle-income countries. Field Exchange 69, May 2023. p29. www.ennonline.net/fex/69/hot-weather-impacts-infant-feeding-practices-in-low-and-middle-income-countries

(ENN_7607)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.