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Excess prepregnancy maternal BMI tied to interruption of breastfeeding

12 Apr 2018

Excess maternal body mass index (BMI) during prepregnancy seems to be associated with cessation of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF), according to a recent study.

Researchers performed a systematic review across six databases – PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, LILACS, CINAHL and Web of Science – and identified 17 eligible studies, which were then subjected to a meta-analysis. Univariate meta-regression was used to determine the pooled effect of maternal prepregnancy BMI on EBF.

The pooled analysis showed that mothers with excess BMI prior to pregnancy were significantly more likely to interrupt EBF than mothers with normal BMI (effect size, 1.60; 95 percent CI, 1.47–1.74; p=0.000).

In general, the individual studies showed a similar trend, with the strongest effect size being 5.61 (4.31–7.66), reflecting the effect of overweight on EBF.

Moreover, the effect remained strong and significant even after excluding three studies with the strictest definition of EBF: mothers with excess BMI were approximately 60-percent more likely to interrupt EBF than their normal-weight counterparts.

“More studies are needed, mainly to assess the cessation of EBF and [for] greater comparability with respect to the cutoff point of EBF duration. There is also a need to use comparable cutoff points for the classification of prepregnancy maternal BMI,” said researchers.

“Further efforts to understand the possible determinants, confounders and even mediators of this association should also be emphasized,” they added.

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