As the prevalence of overweight and obesity among women of child bearing age increases, providers of neonatal care find themselves challenged to encourage, promote, and support optimal breastfeeding outcomes in this group of mothers. Research strongly supports the use of colostrum and breast milk in term and preterm infants with American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for exclusive breastfeeding of infants to continue for 6 months of age and throughout the first year. Every drop of colostrum and breast milk is needed in our neonatal population and our overweight and obese moms face some of the greatest obstacles in the provision of this milk.
Multiple associations pairing maternal obesity with suboptimal lactation outcomes have been reported. During this presentation, research and data demonstrating the difficulties in meeting the lactation goals of moms and neonatal care givers will be discussed. Biological rationales for the disparity between desired and actual availability of milk will be explored. Also presented will be assessment, intervention techniques, and practice guidelines to assist care givers in coaching our overweight mothers to meet the needs of their vulnerable infants.
- Identify lactation problems associated with high BMI
- Discuss composition of human milk and changes in lactation transitions in overweight and obese women
- Discuss key assessments when working to establish and improve lactation outcomes in overweight mothers.