Maternal Body Composition and Its Relationship to Infant Breast Milk Intake in Rural Pakistan

Nazlee, Nafeesa; Bilal, Rakhshanda; Latif, Zahid; Bluck, Les
November 2011
Food & Nutrition Sciences;Nov2011, Vol. 2 Issue 9, p932
Academic Journal
Some women in rural Pakistan are chronically undernourished, and consequently underweight. Concerns have been expressed that the degree of undernourishment might be sufficiently severe to affect lactation performance. We have obtained data on maternal body composition and infant breast milk intake using stable isotope methods in a group of thirty three mother and infant pairs at approximately six months of age. The maternal body mass index ranged from 16.6 to 29.1 kg·m-2. In this population we found that exclusive breast-feeding tended to be associated with lower maternal body fat, and that there was no evidence for compromised lactational performance due to malnourishment. Finally we note that when our data is combined with that from other studies there may be a generalised negative correlation between breast milk intake and maternal body fat.


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