The calcium supplementation status during the postpartum period among Chinese lactating women is still unclear. The objective of this study is to utilize data from two population-based prospective cohort studies to examine the calcium supplementation status and to identify whether breastfeeding is associated with increased calcium supplementation among Chinese mothers after child birth. Information from 1540 mothers on breastfeeding and calcium supplementation measured at discharge, 1, 3, and 6 months postpartum were extracted to evaluate the association between breastfeeding and calcium supplementation postpartum. A generalized linear mixed model was applied to each study initially to account for the inherent correlation among repeated measurements, adjusting for socio-demographic, obstetric factors and calcium supplementation during pregnancy. In addition, breastfeeding status measured at different follow-up time points was treated as a time dependent variable in the longitudinal analysis. Furthermore, the effect sizes of the two cohort studies were pooled using fixed effect model. Based on the two cohort studies, the pooled likelihood of taking calcium supplementation postpartum among breastfeeding mothers was 4.02 times (95% confidence interval (2.30, 7.03)) higher than that of their non-breastfeeding counterparts. Dietary supplementation intervention programs targeting different subgroups should be promoted in Chinese women, given currently a wide shortage of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation postpartum.
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