Breastfeeding And Postpartum Depression

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There are no words to describe the emotions a mother experiences the first time she meets her baby. Furthermore, there are many emotions surrounding the pregnancy, the birth, and the decision of whether or not to breastfeed the baby. There are many benefits to breastfeeding due to the numerous hormones that are in the mother’s body and in breast milk. As expected, several mothers fear postpartum depression, and it is believed that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of it. For example, breast milk strengthens the bond between mother and child due to the fact that it contains numerous hormones, such as prolactin and oxytocin (Donaldson-Myles, 2012). Next, various studies emphasize the importance of supporting mother’s who decide to breastfeed …show more content…
The data was collected from birth of the babies up to 33 months postpartum. Next, mother’s who stop breastfeeding because of difficulty in the beginning may experience guilt, shame, or feelings of inadequacy. Consequently, mothers may feel as if they cannot provide for their baby, so it can affect the mental and physical health of mother and baby. So, healthcare providers, family, and close friends are highly encouraged to support and encourage the mother during the time of breast feeding. Mothers state that they stop breastfeeding because of difficulties, inconvenience, body image, embarrassment, pressure from others, lack of support, and medical reasons (Brown, Rance, & Bennett, 2015). All of the studies had a similar theme of prenatal depression symptoms in mothers cause a shorter breastfeeding time, higher EPDS scores, and low oxytocin levels indicating a likelihood of PPD. Similar to low levels of oxytocin showing a correlation between PPD, higher levels of prolactin showed a lower EPDS score (Donaldson-Myles, 2012). Also, several mothers who intended to breastfeed and were unable to had a higher risk of PPD than women who did not intend to breastfeed and were unable to (Borra, Iacovou, & Sevilla, 2014). Overall, all of the studies share various similar themes that illustrate breastfeeding decreases the risk of acquiring …show more content…
Breastfeeding provides many benefits not only for the baby’s health, but also for the mother’s overall mental and maternal health thereby affecting the well-being of the baby. The main hormones that affect the baby and mother’s health are prolactin, which stimulate milk production and oxytocin, which improves the mother’s mood. The EPDS score of the mother determined the risk of PPD, such as, the higher the score the more likely the mother is to have PPD. Also, the score was dependent on whether or not the mother had prenatal depressive symptoms and if they intended to breastfeed or not. The mother may experience difficulties if she feels inadequate or experiences pain from breastfeeding. Overall, the support of the healthcare providers, family, and friends is critical to the success of the mothers’ chance of breastfeeding well. Altogether, breastfeeding is proven to protect against the risk of acquiring

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