Interventions to increase the duration of breastfeeding in obese mothers: the Bassett Improving Breastfeeding Study

Breastfeed Med. 2011 Apr;6(2):69-75. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2010.0014. Epub 2010 Oct 19.


Objective: Maternal obesity is associated with poor breastfeeding outcomes, yet no intervention has been developed to improve them. To ascertain whether increased breastfeeding support or provision of a breast pump is a feasible, effective intervention to improve breastfeeding, we enrolled obese women who intended to breastfeed in two randomized trials.

Methods: In Bassett Improving Breastfeeding Study (BIBS) 1, 40 women received targeted breastfeeding support in the hospital and via telephone or usual care. Information regarding breastfeeding was collected via telephone for 7 days after delivery and at 30 and 90 days postpartum. In BIBS 2, 34 obese mothers received a manual or electric breast pump to use for 10-14 days or no pump; data collection was similar.

Results: In both experiments, randomization failed to distribute women of differing postpartum body mass index adequately among the treatment groups. When analyses were adjusted for this, there was no difference in BIBS 1 between targeted and usual care groups and in BIBS 2 among the treatment groups in the proportion of women still breastfeeding at the times studied.

Conclusions: In future studies of obese women, stratified randomization may be necessary. Further development of interventions to help obese women achieve optimal breastfeeding outcomes is required.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Breast Feeding* / epidemiology
  • Breast Feeding* / psychology
  • Data Collection
  • Directive Counseling*
  • Equipment and Supplies*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity* / epidemiology
  • Obesity* / physiopathology
  • Obesity* / psychology
  • Postnatal Care / methods
  • Postnatal Care / organization & administration
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Puerperal Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Puerperal Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Puerperal Disorders* / psychology
  • Social Support
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome