Friday, July 22, 2011

Postpartum Depression risk higher in breastfeeding moms

A recent study has found that depression is more common among women who had breastfeeding issues in the first two weeks after giving birth.

We all know the first two weeks of breastfeeding ARE the hardest. Why?? Well because both Mummie and Nummie Lover are still trying to get the hang of it all. Think about it.... your little Nummie Lover was just born. He/she is just now seeing what the world really looks like and is having to figure out how to get his/her own food. Some Nummie Lovers get this whole "nummie lovin'" thing down right away.... while others take a while. For me Kit Kat took to it right away (still had her issues...... but she knew how to nurse right away.) but Pooker.... well it took her 6 months before she knew how to nurse correctly.

The study found that "Women who reported disliking breastfeeding during the first week were 1.42 times as likely to be depressed at two months. Women who reported severe breastfeeding pain on their first day were 1.96 times as likely to be depressed at two months."
The researchers used data collected from the Infant Feeding and Practices Study II, and assessed the postpartum depression status of the 2,586 women in that study with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

From that, 8.6 mummies were found to have met the criteria for major depression two months after giving birth.

Stephanie Watkins, a doctoral student in epidemiology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said “We found that women who said they disliked breastfeeding were 42 percent more likely to experience postpartum depression at two months compared to women who liked breastfeeding. We also found that women with severe breast pain at day one and also at two weeks postpartum were twice as likely to be depressed compared to women that did not experience pain with nursing.”

 If you find yourself really struggling, unhappy and withdrawn.... please reach out for help. Breastfeeding is not always easy and the frustration that causes can lead to depression. There is help out there, there are people who will listen and care.

Take it easy Mummies.... you deserve it!



  1. I had extreme pain with my oldest breastfeeding. 4 weeks into it, we still hadn't figured out the BF thing and my supply disappeared. It was so stressful and my PPD was so bad, we (with the help of my supportive but extremely worried hubby and daughter's pedi) decided it was time to try formula for her and a high dose of anti-depressants for me.

    This time around, youngest took right too it and while I've had the baby blues, the PPD isn't unmanageable. I'm more relaxed and baby is happy.

    I can see how the study came up with these results, I've been there. And like you said, the best thing a mummie can do is reach out for help!

  2. Interesting. I'll be sure to keep in a positive frame of mind during those first weeks of breastfeeding and remember the good benefits outweigh any pain or difficulties.

  3. It is honestly because you can't have sex. You still feel fat and bloated. You're up all night with a new born. Your husband probably isn't helping as much as you thought. BFing might be a little harder then it should be (but practice makes perfect). All of these rolled into one. Heck yes you're going to have a slight depression.
    My husband helped with the baby, just not the household chores. My son was not latched on properly for 6 weeks (we thought he was because he was growing soo fast, BUT THAT'S WHAT I GOT FOR 'THINKING'!). We could not have sex (had an emergency c~section)... After BFing, my boobs aren't the same, and I still feel fat (I gained an extra 6lbs after giving birth for a grand total of 36lbs extra flab on me).

    The only thing that got me up during BFing to latch my son back on was my husband. He rooted for me the whole time (and still does 4 & 1/2 months into it).
    If you can look into your child's eyes and not smile then I think you could have PPD...


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