The findings, which were published in research publication Nutrition, were highlighted by a group of Japanese researchers.
A total of 6,125 Japanese women who gave birth to full-term babies between 2010 and 2013 were recruited into the study.
About 83% of the women managed to initiate EBF at discharge and this figure dropped to 72% one month later.
It was found that in women who failed to initiate EBF, their pre-pregnancy weight and BMI were consistently higher than that of women who managed to initiate EBF.
For instance, the mean weight of women who failed to initiate EBF was 52.2kg (+/- 8.2kg), whereas those who managed to do so had a lower mean weight at 51.3kg (+/- 6.7kg).
The mean BMI of women who failed to initiate EBF was also slightly higher at 20.6 (+/- 3), while those who successfully initiated EBF had a lower BMI at 20.2 (+/- 2.5).
An older maternal age, undergoing caesarean delivery, and earlier gestational week were also associated with an unsuccessful EBF initiation.
In other words, women who managed to initiate EBF weighed less and have a lower pre-pregnancy BMI and BMI at delivery.
“Mothers who successfully initiated EBF were more likely to be younger, to weigh less before pregnancy, to have a lower pre-pregnancy BMI and BMI at delivery, to be of a later gestational week at birth, to be multiparous, to experience vaginal delivery, and not to have been separated from the baby after delivery.
“In the present study, we found that older maternal age and nulliparity were both negative factors for successful EBF initiation, which were consistent with the results from the longitudinal 21st Century (N = 53 575) study conducted by the Japanese Ministry,” the researchers said.
The researchers pointed out that there were some limitations with the study.
First, they pointed out that the findings presented a higher EBF success rates than nationwide rate (51% as of 2017) as all the participants had delivered in a “baby-friendly” hospital.
Second, only healthy mothers with full-term pregnancies were included in the study, which may have contributed to the higher EBF rate.
“The present study demonstrated that prepregnancy obesity may be a risk factor for successful EBF initiation among Japanese…Educational intervention to stay at a healthy weight for young childbearing-age women may be a useful approach for EBF promotion in Japan,” the researchers concluded.
Pre-pregnancy obesity as a risk factor for exclusive breastfeeding initiation in Japanese women
Authors: Nomura K, et al