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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 23, No. 2, 2005, pp. 177-183
Bioline Code: hn05021
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2005, pp. 177-183

 en Weight Loss During Prolonged Lactation in Rural Bangladeshi Mothers
Sarkar, Nihar Ranjan & Taylor, Richard


To determine the duration of lactation which is associated with weight loss in rural Bangladeshi mothers and also to determine the relationship with consumption patterns of principal food items, a cross-sectional study was carried out among 791 lactating rural Bangladeshi mothers aged 18-40 years. Results were compared with 333 non-pregnant and non-lactating mothers of a similar age group. The duration of lactation was up to 60 months. The mean difference in body-weight and body mass index (BMI) of lactating mothers who breastfed their children up to 24 months was significantly lower compared to non-lactating mothers of the same age group, but no differences were observed for those who breastfed beyond 24 months. The frequency of consumption of principal food items was comparable between the non-lactating and the lactating mothers who breastfed beyond 24 months. Results of multiple linear regression analysis showed that body-weight of mothers was negatively correlated with 1-12 month(s) and 13-24 months of lactation after controlling for height, education, and food consumption (slope -1.04, p<0.05 and slope-1.23, p<0.05 respectively). Height and consumption of meat and milk were significantly positively correlated with body-weight(slope 0.53,p<0.001; slope 1.44, p<0.001;and slope 0.75,p<0.05 respectively). The study concluded that Bangladeshi women who breastfed up to 24 months were of lower weight than non-lactating mothers, most likely due to the effect of lactation. These mothers were not taking any additional foods during their lactating period. Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that mothers consume additional energy-rich foods during the first 24 months of lactation to prevent weight loss.

Lactation; Breastfeeding; Body-weight; Anthropometry; Food consumption; Cross-sectional studies; Bangladesh

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