Pregnant women's intention to breastfeed; their estimated extent and duration of the forthcoming breastfeeding in relation to the actual breastfeeding in the first year postpartum-A Swedish cohort study.
OBJECTIVE : To investigate the prenatal intention to breastfeed and the estimated extent and duration of the forthcoming breastfeeding among nulliparous and multiparous women in different Body Mass Index (BMI) classes. Furthermore, in a sub-group we study the actual breastfeeding in relation to the prenatal intended extent and duration. METHODS : A prospective cohort study. METHODS : A total of 775 pregnant women answered a questionnaire concerning their intention to breastfeed and how they estimated the extent and duration of the forthcoming breastfeeding. In a sub-group of 174 women, data from the actual breastfeeding were obtained. RESULTS : There was no difference concerning intention to breastfeed among underweight and normal weight women, overweight or obese nulliparous or multiparous women. Fewer multiparous women with BMI <25 judged that the forthcoming breastfeeding would be partial, compared to multiparous women with overweight and obesity (p = 0.003). Furthermore, there was a significant difference within the group of nulliparous women concerning the prenatal intended extent and the actual breastfeeding at two weeks and five months postnatally (p = 0.000 and p = 0.041). There were more underweight and normal weight and overweight women who breastfed exclusively two weeks postnatally, compared with obese women. Additional, at five months postnatally there were more obese women who had ceased to breastfeed, than underweight and normal weight women. CONCLUSIONS : Among pregnant multiparous women there were more overweight and obese women who judged that the forthcoming breastfeeding would be partial, than pregnant underweight and normal weight women. The prenatal estimated extent of the forthcoming breastfeeding differed from the actually extent of breastfeeding among nulliparous women. CONCLUSIONS : The antenatal breastfeeding information and education should be tailored to prepare every woman/couple, irrespective of maternal body composition for the forthcoming task and furthermore, the continuum of care, from antenatal care to Child Health Service should offer a supportive atmosphere to protect and promote breastfeeding.