Dietary botanical supplements and herbal tea use are not regulated in the United States as pharmaceuticals are. In fact, some of these supplements may cause drug interactions or contain heavy metals, which, in infants, may have more adverse effects. Use of these dietary botanical supplements and teas among infants has not been well documented. This is an analysis of the cohort of mothers form the Infant Feeding Practices Study II to examine the prevalence of dietary botanical supplements and tea use in infants, reasons for use, and factors associated with use.
•Included were 2653 healthy mothers with healthy term infants from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II. These mothers were surveyed longitudinally from pregnancy through the first year of their infants’ lives between 2005 and 2007.
•The cohort was drawn from a national consumer panel of mothers 18 years and older.
•Mothers were sent a questionnaire once during pregnancy and 10 times during the first year of their infants’ lives.
•94% of the postnatal sample returned at least 2 questionnaires.
•The sample overrepresented white, older, and better-educated mothers.
•The dependent variable was the number of times mothers answered “yes” to 10 postnatal survey questions asking about use of dietary botanical supplements or teas in their infants.
•Independent variables included age of the mothers, race/ethnicity, education, socioeconomics, breast-feeding practices, parity, and region.
•For each questionnaire, mothers were asked to list all dietary botanical supplements and teas their babies had been given in the past 2 weeks. •One third of mothers were 25 to 29 years old, 30% were 30 to 34 years old, and 72% were multiparous.
•Mean breast-feeding duration was 23.4 weeks; 85% of mothers were non-Hispanic white, and 6% were Hispanic.
•Overall, 9% of mothers in the sample reported giving dietary botanical supplements and teas to their infants on at least 1 questionnaire.
•4% of mothers reported giving dietary botanical supplements or teas to their infants on more than 1 questionnaire.
•Mothers were more likely to give their infants dietary botanical supplements or teas if they were users of dietary supplements themselves, were primiparous, older, had a higher education or income, and were married.
•Geographically, dietary botanical supplements and teas were more likely to be given in the West and least likely to be given in the Midwest.
•The odds ratio of giving infants dietary botanical supplements or teas was 3.69 among mothers who previously used such supplements themselves vs those who did not (P < .0001), and 1.85 among Hispanic mothers vs white mothers (P = .016). The odds were also increased among mothers with longer breast-feeding duration (P < .0001).
•Parity, age, poverty, marital status, and region were no longer significant in the multivariate model.
•The percentage of infants given any dietary botanical supplements or teas ranged from 2.4% in month 1 to 4.4% in months 4 to 6.
•The most commonly used dietary botanical supplements and teas were gripe water, chamomile, teething tablets, and unspecified tea.
•The most common reasons given by mothers were to help with fussiness, digestion, colic, and relaxation in their infants.
•The most commonly reported sources of information regarding dietary botanical supplements and teas were friends and relatives (30%), healthcare providers (27%), and the media (27.6%).
•Mothers who received information from these sources were 3 to 5 times more likely to give their infants dietary botanical supplements and teas than mothers who did not.
•The authors concluded that use of dietary botanical supplements and teas occurred commonly among infants but that duration was short, and mothers who used these supplements themselves were more likely to give them to their infants. Clinical Implications
•An estimated 9% of mothers report use of dietary botanical supplements or teas for their infants in the first year of life. Maternal use, Hispanic race, and breast-feeding are associated with increased use of these supplements.
•Mothers who receive information about dietary botanical supplements and teas from friends or relatives, healthcare providers, or the media are more likely to give these supplements to their infants.
Fonte: Laurie Barclay, MD