The effect of breast feeding on postpartum maternal body mass

D. S. Seidman, Pnina Ever-Hadani, Rena Gale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of breast feeding on long term maternal weight loss was studied in 9428 women who gave birth in Jersusalem. The postpartum women reported the duration of breast feeding following a previous live singleton birth up to three years earlier. A multiple regression analysis, controlling for the confounding effect of maternal age, education, parity, social class, ethnic origin, smoking, marital status and occupation, was carried out. A statistically significant (P< 0-002) polynomial association was found for duration of breast feeding and reported maternal body mass index, before the last pregnancy. Women who breast fed for only one or two months had a lower body mass, while women who breast fed for three months or more had a body mass similar or even higher than women who did not breast feed. These results suggest that long term breast feeding may lead to weight gain. The study supports the need to reconsider recommended energy intakes for successful lactation accompanied by gradual maternal weight loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-435
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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