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Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Mar;61(3):528-34.

Maternal anthropometric status and lactation performance in a low-income Honduran population: evidence for the role of infants.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, University of California at Davis.


As part of a study on the optimal timing of complementary feeding in Honduras, we assessed breast milk volume and composition at 4, 5, and 6 mo in 141 low-income women who were randomly assigned to exclusively breast-feed for the first 6 mo or to complement breast milk with prepared solid foods beginning at 4 mo. Milk volume averaged 797 +/- 139 g/d at 4 mo. Maternal body mass index was positively associated with infant birth weight and milk energy density. In multivariate analyses in which group assignment was controlled for, milk volume was positively associated with birth weight but negatively associated with milk energy density. Infant breast milk energy intake was positively associated with birth weight and milk energy density. Maternal anthropometric status was not a significant predictor of milk volume or infant energy intake when birth weight and milk energy density were included in the models. These results indicate that infant characteristics, such as birth weight and the ability to self-regulate intake in response to milk energy density, mediate the relationship between maternal anthropometric status and lactation performance.

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