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J Am Diet Assoc. 1993 Apr;93(4):429-33.

Breast-feeding reduces maternal lower-body fat.

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US Army Natick Research, Development, and Engineering Center, MA 01760-5020.


The effect of breast-feeding on maternal anthropometric measures during the first 6 postpartum months was studied in 24 women. Mothers, who were seen in the hospital shortly after delivery and at monthly intervals thereafter, kept a record of their infant-feeding practices and provided three 24-hour dietary recalls per month. The women were placed in one of three groups according to their infant-feeding practices: breast-feeding exclusively, combination of breast- and formula-feeding, and formula-feeding only. Changes in anthropometric variables at 6 months postpartum were similar in the three groups, but mothers who breast-fed exclusively or partially had significantly larger reductions in hip circumference measurements (3.6% and 3.1%, respectively) and were less above their prepregnancy weights at 1 month postpartum (7.8% and 8.5% above prepregnancy weight, respectively) than mothers who fed formula exclusively (0.68% reduction in hip circumference and 13.7% above prepregnancy weight). Our findings indicate that a woman's choice of infant-feeding practice influences postpartum anthropometric changes, but these effects may be temporary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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