New research shows that first-time moms who are overweight or older than 30 may face an increased risk of breastfeeding problems. In a study of 431 California women, 54 percent of overweight moms (versus 45 percent of thinner ones) took longer than 72 hours after birth to have their breast milk come in; 58 percent of older women faced a milk delay (versus 39 percent of moms under 30). As explained by Reuters' Amy Norton:
The concern with this is that some infants may start to become dehydrated and lose excess weight (some weight loss after birth is normal), and that some mothers, worried and frustrated, may give up on breastfeeding.
The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center researchers, whose work appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, say it isn’t clear why heavier weight and older age may be linked to lactation delay. But:
Whatever the underlying mechanisms for the findings, [Laurie Nommsen-Rivers, PhD] said that the bottom line for women is to seek help for any early breastfeeding difficulties.
Women who feel their milk has not come in within 72 hours should call their pediatrician, Nommsen-Rivers said. The doctor can weigh and assess the baby, and watch the mother breastfeed to help spot any problems.
As many readers know, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that moms exclusively breastfeed for a minimum of four months but preferably for six months.
Previously: Antidepressant use might cause lactation difficulties
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