Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Aim: This study aimed to examine whether pre-pregnancy weight status was associated with maternal feeding beliefs and practices in the early post-partum period. Methods: This study uses secondary analysis of longitudinal data from Australian mothers. Participants ( n = 486 ) were divided into two weight status groups based on self-reported pre-pregnancy weight and measured height: healthy weight ( body mass index ( BMI ) < 25 kg/m2; n = 321 ) and overweight ( BMI > 25 kg/m2; n = 165 ). Feeding beliefs and practices were self-reported via an established questionnaire that assessed concerns about infant overeating and undereating, awareness of infant cues, feeding to a schedule and using food to calm. Results: Infants of overweight mothers were more likely to have been given solid foods in the previous 24 h ( 29% vs. 20% ) and fewer were fully breastfed ( 50% vs. 64% ). Multivariable regression analyses ( adjusted for maternal education, parity, average infant weekly weight gain, feeding mode and introduction of solids ) revealed that pre-pregnancy weight status was not associated with using food to calm, concern about undereating, awareness of infant cues or feeding to a schedule. However, feeding mode was associated with feeding beliefs and practices. Conclusions: Although no evidence for a relationship between maternal weight status and early maternal feeding beliefs and practices was observed, differences in feeding mode and early introduction of solids were observed. The emergence of a relationship between feeding practices and maternal weight status may occur when the children are older, solid feeding is established and they become more independent in feeding.

Document Type

Journal Article

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