BMI, Post natal depression and mode of infant feeding: A retrospective cohort study

Cathy Knight-Agarwal, Stephanie To, Ceila Wang, Peter Rickwood

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstractpeer-review


Obesity has been shown to complicate pregnancy and its related outcomes. There is evidence from epidemiological studies that overweight and obese women are less likely to breastfeed than normal weight women. This study examines maternal body mass index (BMI) and risk of postnatal depression in relation to infant feeding. A retrospective cohort study from 2008 to 2013 was undertaken in the Australian Capital Territory. BMI was available for 14,875 women categorised into groups according to: underweight (≤ 18 kg/m2 ); normal weight (19 – 24 kg/m2 ); overweight (25 – 29 kg/m2 ); obese class I (30 – 34 kg/m2 ); obese class II (35 – 39 kg/m2 ) and obese class III (40+ kg/m2 ). The association between BMI, postnatal depression (high-risk defined as Edinburgh scale score of ≥ 13 points) and mode of infant feeding was examined using logistic regression. Within this cohort, 751 (5.1%) women were underweight, 7431 (50.0%) had normal BMI, 3748 (25.1%) were overweight, 1598 (10.8%) were obese class I, 737 (5.0%) were obese class II and 592 (4.0%) were obese class III. In the adjusted models, overweight and obese women, at high-risk of postnatal depression, were less likely to exclusively breastfeed their infants with Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) [CI] as follows: Overweight 0.79 [0.70–0.89]; Class I Obesity 0.55 [0.48–0.64]; Class II Obesity 0.37 [0.31–0.44]; Class III Obesity 0.29 [0.24–0.36]. To the author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind in Australia to demonstrate that overweight and obese women, who are also at high risk of postnatal depression, are less likely to exclusively breastfeed. Early support for these women is imperative.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
EventDietitians Association of Australia, 35th National Conference -
Duration: 17 May 201819 May 2018


ConferenceDietitians Association of Australia, 35th National Conference


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