Prepregnancy Body Mass Index, Previous Experience and Early Breastfeeding Termination




Addo-Glover, Doris

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The positive benefits of breastmilk for both mothers and infants have been documented conclusively through numerous studies. Breastfeeding is the recommended form of nutrition for babies. The experience of breastfeeding is however challenging for women with prepregnancy body mass index (BMI). Multiple studies have documented the relationship between above normal BMI and early termination of breastfeeding compared to normal BMI. Additionally, previous experience has been shown to improve breastfeeding initiation and continuation, yet, little is known about the influence of previous experience and BMI on length of time spent breastfeeding. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which prepregnancy BMI and previous breastfeeding experience were predictive of early breastfeeding termination at four (4) weeks among postpartum low-income women. A secondary analysis was conducted using a combined data set (n=434) of common variables from two studies: the Nurses' Intervention Study (n= 328), a randomized controlled study to determine the effects of a breastfeeding intervention on postpartum women from 2003-2005; and the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (n=4902), a longitudinal survey of nutritional and dietary intake among prenatal and postpartum women from 2005-2007. In this current study, the dependent variable is early breastfeeding termination and the independent variables are prepregnancy BMI and prior breastfeeding experience. Potential covariates include race, maternal age, education, parity and type of delivery. Three levels of statistical analysis were performed to describe the data: univariate and bivariate analysis, and multivariate binary logistic regression to determine variables that predict early breastfeeding termination. The study was approved by the George Mason University Institutional Review Board. Findings from the study will add to the body of knowledge on prepregnancy BMI, previous breastfeeding experience and early breastfeeding termination among low-income women.



Nursing, Public health, Public policy, BMI, Pregnancy and birth outcomes, Breastfeeding promotion, Early breastfeeding termination, Maternal obesity, Prepregnancy BMI, Previous breastfeeding experience