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ISSN: 2161-038X

Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research
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Research Article

Exclusive Breastfeeding and Assisted Reproductive Technologies: A Calgary Cohort

Candace O’Quinn1, Amy Metcalfe2, Sheila W McDonald3, NikolettRaguz1 and Suzanne C Tough2,3*

1Department Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Calgary, Calgary Alberta Canada

2Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary Alberta Canada

3Department of Paediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary Alberta Canada

Corresponding Author:
Suzanne C Tough
Department of Community Health Sciences
University of Calgary, Calgary Alberta Canada
Department of Paediatrics, University of Calgary
Calgary Alberta Canada
E-mail:[email protected]

Received Date: April 17, 2012; Accepted Date: April 21, 2012; Published Date: April 25, 2012

Citation: O’Quinn C, Metcalfe A, McDonald SW, Raguz N, Tough SC (2012) Exclusive Breastfeeding and Assisted Reproductive Technologies: A Calgary Cohort. Reproductive Sys Sexual Disord S5:002. doi:10.4172/2161-038X.S5-002

Copyright: © 2012 O’Quinn C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objectives: To determine if there is a difference in exclusive breastfeeding rates between mothers who conceived spontaneously compared with those who conceived using Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART).

Study methods: A prospective cohort study (“All Our Babies”) of pregnant women was conducted in Calgary, Alberta, Canada from May 2008-May 2010. Participants completed three written questionnaires, two during pregnancy and one at four months postpartum. Data for this analysis included all participants who used ART to conceive the pregnancy, and a 2:1 random selection of women who conceived spontaneously. ART included use of fertility enhancing drugs and/or artificial insemination and/or in vitro fertilization +/- intra cytoplasmic sperm injection. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the population. Chi square tests, Fisher exact tests and t-tests were used to assess differences between groups.

Results: Seventy-six participants (5.9%) used some form of ART to conceive. Mothers in the group who used ART to conceive were older than the group who conceived spontaneously (p=0.001). At four months post-partum 54.1% of infants who were conceived via ART were exclusively breastfed compared to 59.7% of infants who were spontaneously conceived (p=0.99). No significant differences in terms of breastfeeding initiation (p=0.60), breastfeeding at 4 months postpartum (p=0.20) or breastfeeding difficulties (p=0.65) were found between women who conceived spontaneously and women who conceived through ART.

Conclusion: This study suggests that mothers who conceive using ART do not differ from those who conceived spontaneously in breastfeeding initiation, duration or likelihood of difficulty. This suggests that specialized counseling for these mothers is not required in regards to breastfeeding and these mothers can be reassured that using ART to conceive will not impact their breastfeeding practices.


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