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Breastfeed Med. 2011 Apr;6(2):69-75. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2010.0014. Epub 2010 Oct 19.

Interventions to increase the duration of breastfeeding in obese mothers: the Bassett Improving Breastfeeding Study.

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Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.



Maternal obesity is associated with poor breastfeeding outcomes, yet no intervention has been developed to improve them. To ascertain whether increased breastfeeding support or provision of a breast pump is a feasible, effective intervention to improve breastfeeding, we enrolled obese women who intended to breastfeed in two randomized trials.


In Bassett Improving Breastfeeding Study (BIBS) 1, 40 women received targeted breastfeeding support in the hospital and via telephone or usual care. Information regarding breastfeeding was collected via telephone for 7 days after delivery and at 30 and 90 days postpartum. In BIBS 2, 34 obese mothers received a manual or electric breast pump to use for 10-14 days or no pump; data collection was similar.


In both experiments, randomization failed to distribute women of differing postpartum body mass index adequately among the treatment groups. When analyses were adjusted for this, there was no difference in BIBS 1 between targeted and usual care groups and in BIBS 2 among the treatment groups in the proportion of women still breastfeeding at the times studied.


In future studies of obese women, stratified randomization may be necessary. Further development of interventions to help obese women achieve optimal breastfeeding outcomes is required.

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