Earlier Onset of Maternal Excess Adiposity Associated with Shorter Exclusive Breastfeeding Duration

Misty A.W. Hawkins, Janna Colaizzi, Sarah Rhoades-Kerswill, Emily D. Fry, Natalie G. Keirns, Caitlin E. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is recommended; however, women with obesity have lower exclusive breastfeeding rates than their normal weight peers. The impact of the timing of maternal excess adiposity onset is unknown. Research aim: We examined whether the timing of onset of excess weight was related to exclusive breastfeeding duration. Methods: Snowball sampling was used for the cross-sectional Breastfeeding Opinions, Outcomes, Behaviors, and Services online survey. The sample was 1,570 mothers who reported their breastfeeding and weight history. Exclusive breastfeeding duration (for first biological child only) was calculated in months and dichotomously (0=< 6 months exclusive breastfeeding; 1=⩾ 6 months exclusive breastfeeding). Participants self-reported their excess weight onset (0=before/during puberty or 1=after puberty). Results: Analysis of covariance results indicated that earlier onset of excess weight was associated with shorter exclusive breastfeeding (F (1, 1518) = 11.29, p<.001, η 2 =.01). Those with excess adiposity onset before or during puberty were 1.6 times more likely to experience exclusive breastfeeding failure (< 6 months exclusive breastfeeding) than those with onset after puberty (OR = 1.57, β =.46, Wald = 11.81, p =.001). Conclusion: Earlier onset of excess adiposity had an adverse influence on exclusive breastfeeding duration. Women with a history of excess adiposity before or during puberty who want to breastfeed may require additional intervention to promote their breastfeeding success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-300
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • breastfeeding
  • breastfeeding barriers
  • breastfeeding duration
  • exclusive breastfeeding
  • maternal health


Dive into the research topics of 'Earlier Onset of Maternal Excess Adiposity Associated with Shorter Exclusive Breastfeeding Duration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this