Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International breastfeeding journal





First Page


PubMed ID





School of Medical and Health Sciences




Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Project R01HD098186, “Effect of Antenatal Milk Expression on Breastfeeding Outcomes among Overweight and Obese Women"


Demirci, J. R., Glasser, M., Bogen, D. L., Sereika, S. M., Ren, D., Ray, K., ... & Himes, K. (2023). Effect of antenatal milk expression education on lactation outcomes in birthing people with pre-pregnancy body mass index ≥ 25: Protocol for a randomized, controlled trial. International Breastfeeding Journal, 18, Article 16.


Background: Birthing people with pre-pregnancy body mass indices (BMIs) ≥ 25 kg/m2, particularly those without prior breastfeeding experience, are at increased risk for suboptimal lactation outcomes. Antenatal milk expression (AME) may be one way to counteract the negative effects of early infant formula supplementation common in this population. Methods: This ongoing, randomized controlled trial in the United States evaluates the efficacy of a telelactation-delivered AME education intervention versus an attention control condition on lactation outcomes to 1 year postpartum among 280 nulliparous-to-primiparous, non-diabetic birthing people with pre-pregnancy BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. The assigned study treatment is delivered via four weekly online video consultations between gestational weeks 37-40. Participants assigned to AME meet with study personnel and a lactation consultant to learn and practice AME. Instructions are provided for home practice of AME between study visits. Control group participants view videos on infant care/development at study visits. Participants complete emailed surveys at enrollment (340/7-366/7 gestational weeks) and 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months postpartum. Surveys assess lactation and infant feeding practices; breastfeeding self-efficacy, attitudes, and satisfaction; perception of insufficient milk; onset of lactogenesis-II; lactation support and problems; and reasons for breastfeeding cessation. Surveys also assess factors associated with lactation outcomes, including demographic characteristics, health problems, birth trauma, racial discrimination, and weight stigma. Health information and infant feeding data are abstracted from the pregnancy and birth center electronic health record. Milk samples are collected from the intervention group at each study visit and from both groups at each postpartum follow-up for future analyses. Qualitative interviews are conducted at 6 weeks postpartum to understand AME experiences. Primary outcomes of interest are breastfeeding exclusivity and breastfeeding self-efficacy scores at 2 weeks postpartum. Outcomes will be examined longitudinally with generalized linear mixed-effects modeling. Discussion: This is the first adequately powered trial evaluating the effectiveness of AME among U.S. birthing people and within a non-diabetic population with pre-pregnancy BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. This study will also provide the first evidence of acceptability and effectiveness of telelactation-delivered AME. Trial registration: NCT04258709.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.