An Australian study has found that overweight moms are more likely to discontinue breastfeeding than average-weight moms, and researchers are blaming poor body image for the difference.
Researchers with the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland organized a survey conducted between 2010 which included more than 250 women who were first-time mothers. The particpants answered one questionnaire before they gave birth and six questionnaires after they delivered.
The study found that half of the obese women in the study stopped breastfeeding within six months, while only one in five women with low body fat stopped breastfeeding at that time point. The researchers found that 25% of overweight pregnant women surveyed indicated they would feel uncomfortable breastfeeding even in front of a close female friend, while only 10% of other expectant moms felt that way.
Dr. Ruth Newby told AAP, "The rate for the larger women was so surprising...[they] want to do the best thing for their babies and we need to support them to reach their breastfeeding goals." She further stated that her research recommends more investigation into the quick decline of breastfeeding rates for moms who are overweight.