To investigate whether pre-gestational obesity interferes with the duration of breast-feeding.
A cross-sectional study was carried out with a population-based probabilistic sample. The dependent variables were exclusive breast-feeding (EBF) and breast-feeding (BF), as defined by the WHO. The classification of pre-gestational nutritional status was based on the pre-gestational BMI category.
A sample of 418 mother–infant pairs from the state of Alagoas, Brazil.
The median duration of EBF was 1·9 months (60d), while that of BF was 8·2 months (250d). According to multiple linear regression analysis, the factors that negatively and independently affected the duration of EBF were pre-gestational BMI≥30·0 kg/m2 (−51·9d, 95 % CI −80·4, −23·4), maternal schooling≤9 years (−30·8d, 95 % CI −54·7, −6·9), no prior lactation experience (−29·0d, 95 % CI −45·6, −11·5) and infant pacifier use (−41·4d; 95 % CI 54·5, −28·2). For BF, a higher weaning rate was observed during the first days after birth among children of pre-gestational obese mothers.
The results suggest that higher pre-gestational BMI is associated with shorter duration of EBF and BF. Prenatal care provides a privileged opportunity to promote nutritional education, better nutritional status of pregnant woman, and greater success with EBF up to 6 months of age and with longer BF.