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Exclusivity of breastfeeding and body composition: learnings from the Baby-bod study


Jayasinghe, S and Herath, MP and Beckett, JM and Ahuja, KDK and Byrne, NM and Hills, AP, Exclusivity of breastfeeding and body composition: learnings from the Baby-bod study, International Breastfeeding Journal, 16, (1) pp. 1-10. ISSN 1746-4358 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1186/s13006-021-00389-x


Background: This report evaluated the breastfeeding status in a Tasmanian cohort and its effects on infant and maternal anthropometry and body composition.

Methods: An observational-cohort analysis of self-reported feeding data from 175 Tasmanian mother-baby dyads (recruited via in-person contact between September 2017 and October 2019), was executed. Only mothers who were ≥ 18 years of age, who had a singleton pregnancy and were able to speak and understand English, were included in the study. Infants outside a gestational age range between 37+ 0 and 41+ 6 weeks were excluded. Infant (using Air Displacement Plethysmography) and maternal body composition was assessed at 0, 3 and 6 months. Analysis of variance with relevant statistical corrections were utilised for cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons between non-exclusively breastfed (neBF) and exclusively breastfed (eBF) groups.

Results: Fat-free mass was significantly higher [t = 2.27, df = 98, P = 0.03, confidence interval (CI) 0.03, 0.48] in neBF infants at 6 months (5.59 0.59 vs 5.33 0.50 kg) despite a higher mean fat-free mass in eBF infants at birth (2.89 0.34 vs 3.01 0.35 kg). Weak evidence for different fat mass index trajectories was observed for eBF and neBF infants in the first 6 months of life (ANOVA, F = 2.42, df = 1.9, P = 0.09) with an inversion in fat mass index levels between 3 and 6 months. Body Mass Index (BMI) trajectories were significantly different in eBF and neBF mothers through pregnancy and the first 6 months postpartum (ANOVA, F = 5.56, df = 30.14, P = 0.01). Compared with eBF mothers, neBF mothers retained significantly less weight (t = - 2.754, df= 158, P = 0.02, CI -6.64, - 1.09) at 3 months (0.68 11.69 vs 4.55 6.08 kg) postpartum. Prevalence for neBF was incrementally higher in mothers with a normal BMI compared to mothers with obesity, and mothers who underwent surgical or medical intervention during birth were less likely to exclusively breastfeed.

Conclusions: Infants with different feeding patterns may display varying growth patterns in early life and sustained breastfeeding can contribute to greater postpartum maternal weight loss.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:exclusive breastfeeding, non-exclusive breastfeeding, body composition, weight retention, obesity
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Paediatrics
Research Field:Infant and child health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Neonatal and child health
UTAS Author:Jayasinghe, S (Mr Sisitha Jayasinghe)
UTAS Author:Herath, MP (Miss Manoja Herath)
UTAS Author:Beckett, JM (Dr Jeff Beckett)
UTAS Author:Ahuja, KDK (Dr Kiran Ahuja)
UTAS Author:Byrne, NM (Professor Nuala Byrne)
UTAS Author:Hills, AP (Professor Andrew Hills)
ID Code:144649
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2021-06-02
Last Modified:2021-06-03

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