Obesity as a Risk Factor for Failure to Initiate and Sustain Lactation

  • Kathleen M. Rasmussen
  • Julie A. Hilson
  • Chris L. Kjolhede
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 503)


It is well documented that socioeconomic status, education, race/ethnicity and social support are determinants of which women attempt to breastfeed their newborn infants.1 Although poor nutrition may compromise lactational performance,2 evidence has only recently emerged that overnutrition may also compromise lactation. Investigators in Australia3 studied women who had breastfed their infants for at least 2 wk and observed that those with a body mass index (BMI) value > 26 kg/m2 at 1 mo postpartum had 1.5 times the risk of early cessation of breastfeeding (BF) compared to those whose BMI was below this value. These findings are of particular concern because a high proportion of women have BMI values this high so soon after delivery. In addition, the proportion of women with higher BMI values is likely to grow with the increasing rates of obesity that have been observed in American women.4


Obese Woman Gestational Weight Gain Prepregnant Body Mass Index Body Mass Index Group Prepregnant Weight 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen M. Rasmussen
    • 1
  • Julie A. Hilson
    • 1
  • Chris L. Kjolhede
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Nutritional SciencesCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Bassett Research InstituteCooperstownUSA

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