Obesity as a Predictor of Delayed Lactogenesis II

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Lactogenesis II is the onset of copious milk production. A delay in this has been associated with an increased risk of formula supplementation and early cessation of breastfeeding. Prepregnancy obesity has also been associated with decreased breastfeeding rates and early cessation.

Research aim:

This study aimed to evaluate the effect of prepregnancy obesity on self-reported delayed lactogenesis II.


We conducted a prospective observational cohort study of 216 women with a singleton pregnancy and who planned to breastfeed. We compared the onset of lactogenesis II between women with a body mass index (BMI) < 30 kg/m2 and women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2. Using multivariate logistic regression analyses, we assessed the relationship between maternal BMI and delay of lactogenesis II.


The prevalence of delayed lactogenesis II among women with prepregnancy BMI < 30 kg/m2 and BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 was 46.4% and 57.9%, respectively. Delayed lactogenesis II occurred more frequently among women who were obese at the time of delivery (p < .05). After controlling for the covariates, age, prepregnancy BMI, and gestational weight gain were positively associated with delayed lactogenesis II.


Prepregnancy obesity and excessive gestational weight gain are associated with an increased risk of delayed lactogenesis II. Women who are at risk for delay in lactogenesis II and early breastfeeding cessation will need targeted interventions and support for them to achieve their personal breastfeeding goals.

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