QLD weather disasters highlight difficulties with feeding babies

(Medical Xpress) -- Infant feeding was an unseen casualty of the recent Queensland natural disasters and researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) want mothers to help them find out about the challenges they faced to help improve disaster planning.

Infant nutrition researcher Ruth Newby, from the UQ Children's Nutrition Research Centre, said the aim of the study is to identify any shortcomings in protocols as they apply to .

“The results will provide useful information in helping governments and non-government organisations in Australia to plan and deliver services to families affected by natural disasters in the future, for the safe of their and young children,” Ms Newby said.

Researchers were alerted to the difficulties being faced by families with infants when a number of mothers participating in The Feeding Queensland Babies Study reported difficulties with safely feeding their infants during the recent Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi.

The study aims to determine just how decisions about feeding infants are being made in the 21st century.

Now, researchers have expanded this study and are calling for mothers, foster parents or carers of children younger than 24 months who had their family life disrupted in any way by these . Around 1000 participants are needed. They will be asked to complete a single online questionnaire.

“The women's stories highlighted the need for specific understanding of the difficulties experienced by families and the potential for affects on the wellbeing of our youngest Queenslanders,” Ms Newby said.

“Young children, and in particular infants younger than 12 months, are critically vulnerable to interruptions in the supply of safe and appropriate foods and fluids,” Ms Newby said.

“Infants in their first weeks and months of life may need to be fed by their parents or carers as often as every 2 hours. Accessing safe nutrition for infants can certainly be a challenge for parents under emergency conditions.”

This research is likely to have worldwide application, with tens of millions of people affected by emergencies each year, placing infants at risk of illness and even death.

More information: Interested families can complete the online questionnaire at psy.uq.edu.au/fed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bottle feeding and obesity

Mar 07, 2006

Bottle-fed babies who graduate to solid food too early could be storing up weight problems for years to come.

Breastfeeding now safer for infants of HIV-infected mothers

Feb 04, 2008

An antiretroviral drug already in widespread use in the developing world to prevent the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their newborns during childbirth has also been found to substantially cut the risk of subsequent ...

Recommended for you

Tracking spending among the commercially insured

4 hours ago

Recent growth in health care spending for commercially insured individuals is due primarily to increases in prices for medical services, rather than increased use, according to a new study led by researchers at The Dartmouth ...

Taking aim at added sugars to improve Americans' health

8 hours ago

Now that health advocates' campaigns against trans-fats have largely succeeded in sidelining the use of the additive, they're taking aim at sugar for its potential contributions to Americans' health conditions. But scientists ...

User comments