Eating Behaviours of Lactating Women Differ by Infant Age and Maternal BMI

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Köse G., geçgil demir e.

Acıbadem Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Dergisi, vol.13, no.2, pp.280-285, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Purpose: In lactation, women experience major changes in their lives as new internal and external demands for attention and care for themselves and the baby, also body mass index due to eating behaviours. Our aim was to define relationships between mindful eating and eating behaviours of breastfeeding mothers by baby’s age and maternal BMI. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between October-November 2021 with 302 lactating mothers without chronic disease. Our study was approved by Ethics Committee of the Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University. A questionnaire form that examined demographic data and Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ-30) were applied. Anthropometric variables were reported by participants due to Covid-19 pandemic. Results: Mean age of our participants was 30.6±4.2 years. Mothers with obesity had lowest score in MEQ-30 (p<0.001). Lactating mothers who were underweight had highest MEQ-30 score (p<0.001). It was shown that lactating mothers have highest MEQ-30 score in the first 6 months, and MEQ-30 scores decreased as baby grows (p<0.001). Conclusion: Lactation period can be an appropriate time to bring about long-term changes in eating behavior. Healthcare professionals and teams can apply treatments focused on eating behavior and mindful eating for mothers with obesity in terms of their physical and emotional health, especially after the 6th month of breastfeeding.