The association of maternal overweight and obesity with breastfeeding duration

J Pediatr. 2006 Aug;149(2):185-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2006.04.005.


Objective: To determine whether maternal prepregnancy overweight or obesity has an independent effect on breastfeeding duration.

Study design: A prospective birth cohort study of 1803 live-born children and their mothers ascertained through antenatal clinics at the major tertiary obstetric hospital in Perth, Australia, were followed until 3 years of age. Unconditional logistic, Cox regression, and Kaplan Meier analyses were used to model the association between maternal prepregnancy overweight and obesity and the duration of predominant or any breastfeeding allowing for adjustment of confounders (infant factors: gender, birth weight, gestational age, age solids introduced, and older siblings; maternal factors: smoking, education, age, race, marital status, pregnancy and birth complications, cesarean section, and socioeconomic status).

Results: Overweight and obese women were more likely to have discontinued breastfeeding at any time before 6 months than normal weight women (P < .0005) following adjustment for potential confounders.

Conclusion: We have shown that prepregnancy body mass index is associated with reduced breastfeeding duration, and that mothers who are overweight or obese before pregnancy tend to breastfeed their infants for a shorter duration than normal weight mothers independent of maternal socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Overweight*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors