Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Breastfeeding practices may protect against offspring obesity, but this relationship is understudied among women with obesity. We describe the associations between breastfeeding practices and child BMI for age z-score (BMIz), stratified by maternal BMI. METHODS: We analyzed 8134 dyads from 21 cohorts in the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes Program. Dyads with data for maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, infant feeding practices, and $1 child BMI assessment between the ages of 2 and 6 years were included. The associations between breastfeeding practices and continuous child BMIz were assessed by using multivariable linear mixed models. RESULTS: Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI category prevalence was underweight: 2.5%, healthy weight: 45.8%, overweight: 26.0%, and obese: 25.6%. Median child ages at the cessation of any breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding across the 4 BMI categories were 19, 26, 24, and 17 weeks and 12, 20, 17, and 12 weeks, respectively. Results were in the hypothesized directions for BMI categories. Three months of any breastfeeding was associated with a lower BMIz among children whose mothers were a healthy weight (-0.02 [-0.04 to 0.001], P 5 .06), overweight (-0.04 [-0.07 to -0.004], P 5 .03), or obese (-0.04 [-0.07 to -0.006], P 5 .02). Three months of exclusive breastfeeding was associated with a lower BMIz among children whose mothers were a healthy weight (-0.06 [-0.10 to -0.02], P 5 .002), overweight (-0.05 [-0.10 to 0.005], P 5 .07), or obese (-0.08 [-0.12 to -0.03], P 5 .001). CONCLUSIONS: Human milk exposure, regardless of maternal BMI category, was associated with a lower child BMIz in the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes cohorts, supporting breastfeeding recommendations as a potential strategy for decreasing the risk of offspring obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023061466
JournalPediatrics
Volume153
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

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