Breast Milk May Arrive Late for Obese New Moms
Study finds delays beyond typical 3-day start to production in larger women
While obesity in pregnancy has long been linked to a higher risk for complications during childbirth, there’s now another reason to avoid it: a late start to breast milk production.
That’s the finding from a new study of more than 200 women with newborns who planned to breast-feed. The researchers found that delays in “lactogenesis” — the production of breast milk within three days of delivery — “occurred more frequently among women who were obese at the time of delivery.”
The study highlights an issue many new moms have to deal with, said one pediatrician who reviewed the new study.
“Breast-feeding is hard for all mothers,” said Dr. Sophia Jan, who directs pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “This study found that breast-feeding is even harder for mothers who were obese prior to pregnancy.”
There are potential consequences for babies, too, she said.
“Newborns of mothers whose breast milk comes in late may lose more weight during those initial days and weeks after birth compared to newborns of mothers whose milk comes in within three days postpartum,” Jan noted.
These babies also often end up on formula, which cannot match breast milk’s nutritional goodness.
The new study was led by Diane Spatz, a professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She and her colleagues tracked the onset of breast milk production in 216 women who gave birth to single babies.
The study found that breast milk production was delayed to beyond three days post-delivery in about 46 percent of non-obese women.
However, that rose to almost 58 percent for new moms who were statistically obese.
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Shared from: medlinplus.gov