1,803 kids and their mothers participated in a large pregnancy study conducted by Dr. Wendy Hazel Oddy of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth and colleagues. Prior to pregnancy, 18% of the women were overweight of obese.
The study, after taking into account, several factors like socioeconomic status, years of education, revealed that overweight and obese women were less likely to make an attempt at breastfeeding and those who did, did not continue for long.
Breastfeeding for less than two months or less than four months was noted to be 2 times higher in obese women. Whereas, overweight women when compared to normal weight women, were 52 % more likely to have stopped breastfeeding before two months, and 62 % more likely to have stopped before four months.
In general, overweight of obese women when compared to normal-weight women were 76% more likely to give up breastfeeding before 6 months.
'A number of factors could help explain the findings. For example, excess weight may change a woman's hormonal profile, making sustained lactation more difficult, or it may be harder for an infant to 'latch on' to breast tissue if the mother is overweight or obese,' the investigators say.
According to the researchers, pregnancy complications and C-sections are more common among overweight or obese women than normal-weight women.