Maternal probiotic milk intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding complications in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study
Journal article, 2019
Purpose: During the time of breastfeeding, a third of all women contract (or: fall ill in) mastitis—the leading cause of precocious weaning. Recent studies indicate that probiotics intake may prevent mastitis by altering the breast’s bacterial flora. The aim of this study was to examine whether probiotic milk intake during pregnancy is associated with less breastfeeding complications and longer breastfeeding duration. Methods: This study included 57,134 women, with live singleton term births, participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Probiotic milk intake during the first half of pregnancy was self-reported in a validated food frequency questionnaire at gestational week 22. At 6 month postpartum, women reported complications, including mastitis, and duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding. The association between probiotic milk intake and breastfeeding complications and duration was studied by adjusted logistic regression models. Results: Probiotic milk intake was associated with increased risk for mastitis [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.16] and for any breastfeeding problems during the first month (aOR 1.19, 95% CI 1.10–1.21). However, cessation of predominant (aOR 0.95, 95% CI 0.91–0.96) or any (aOR 0.79, 95% CI 0.75–0.84) breastfeeding earlier than at 4 months was less frequent in probiotic milk consumers than in non-consumers. Conclusions: Even though probiotic milk intake during the first half of pregnancy was statistically associated with increased risk for breastfeeding complications, including mastitis, the association is probably not causal. Probiotics intake was namely associated with longer breastfeeding duration and there was indication of socioeconomic confounding. Further studies, i.e., large randomized-controlled trials, are needed to understand the association between probiotic intake and breastfeeding complications.
The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study
Cessation of breastfeeding
Probiotic milk intake