Objective: We examined the influence of maternal body mass index (BMI), and of breast and nipple anatomic variations, on breastfeeding difficulties and duration. Methods: In this prospective observational study, we collected demographic and anthropometric data from 109 mothers of full-term newborns. Women were classified as underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese using the World Health Organization definitions and were otherwise healthy. Breast anthropometrics assessments were recorded after delivery and during hospitalization. Latching difficulties were collected as reported by the mothers. Breastfeeding duration was assessed by phone interview at 3, 6, 1 year, or more postdelivery. Results: The four prepregnancy BMI groups included 12 underweight, 59 normal weight, 20 overweight, and 18 obese women. The higher the BMI group, the larger the breast was (p = 0.005). In univariate regression, nipple diameter, nipple length, and areola diameter correlated significantly with breast size. The overall rate of latching difficulties was 15.5%, without significant differences among all four BMI groups. In multivariate analysis, the higher the BMI group the lower was the likelihood of breastfeeding at 6 months of age (odds ratio [OR] = 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79-0.99), and the higher the birth order the higher was the likelihood of breastfeeding at 6 months of age (OR = 3.36, 95% CI: 1.44-7.83). Early latching difficulties predicted shorter breastfeeding duration. Conclusion: We conclude that high prepregnancy BMI has a negative impact on breastfeeding initiation and duration.
- body mass index (BMI)
- breastfeeding duration