Effects of Nutritional Status and Supplementation on Resumption of Menstruation Amongst Parturient Nigerian Women

  • Omobola A. Ogundahunsi Department of Chemical Pathology & Haematology, Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria
  • Adegboyega O. Ketiku Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Adewale O. Sule-Odu Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria
  • Tuminu A. Fakoya Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria
  • Oluwakayode A. Dada Centre for Research in Reproductive Health, C/10 Cinema Road, Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Abstract

Context: Breastfeeding patterns, ethnic variation and nutrition have been shown to influence the return of menstruation after childbirth, but the role played by nutritional status requires further elucidation, particularly in a place like Nigeria where undernutrition is common.

Objectives: To determine the effects of nutrition and breastfeeding pattern on the duration of lactational amenorrhoea in Nigerian women.

Subjects and Methods: Marginally malnourished mothers (162) were randomised into two groups [A & B] for comparison with a third group [C] of well-nourished mothers. Mothers in Group A (83 subjects) received supplements in the form of specially formulated biscuits while those in Group B (79 women) & Group C (85 women) received none. The subjects were visited 3 times a week to ensure compliance with the supplements and to collect information on breastfeeding pattern and duration of lactational amenorrhoea.

Results: There were no significant differences in the duration of postpartum amenorrhoea in the three groups of mothers, being 270, 220 and 234 days for Groups A, B and C respectively. Wide individual variations were observed in the duration of amenorrhoea in each group of mothers despite the fact that they generally had similar patterns of breastfeeding. The energy expenditure patterns in the supplemented and unsupplemented mothers were similar.

Conclusion: Nutritional status and supplementation do not seem to influence the duration of lactational amenorrhoea in this group of Nigerian women. Subtle physiological differences between individual women may account for the wide individual variations observed in the time of resumption of menstruation after childbirth in the subjects.

Key Words: Breastfeeding, Lactational Amenorrhoea, Nutritional Status, Menstruation.

[Trop J Obstet Gynaecol, 2002, 19: 39-43].
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