A new systemic review of the literature examines the effects of breastfeeding on maternal mental health to inform breastfeeding recommendations. The results of this study are published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Women’s Health. Click here to read the article now.
Megan Yuen and Olivia Hall, from the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, and colleagues, found that overall, breastfeeding was associated with improved maternal mental health outcomes. However, if a mother experiences difficulties breastfeeding or differences between her expectations and her actual experience, breastfeeding was associated with negative mental health outcomes.
Of 36 studies that found a statistically significant relationship between breastfeeding and mental health, 29 of those found that breastfeeding was associated with fewer mental health symptoms, and one found that breastfeeding was associated with increased maternal mental health symptoms. Of 34 studies that found a statistically significant relationship between breastfeeding and symptoms of postpartum depression, 28 studies found that breastfeeding was associated with a decreased risk of postpartum depression symptoms.
“To help clinicians personalize breastfeeding and mental health counseling, it is important to recognize that while breastfeeding is generally associated with improved maternal mental health, if can have negative mental health consequences if the mother experiences breastfeeding challenges or the experience does not meet her expectations,” says Journal of Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA.
About the Journal
Journal of Women’s Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. Led by Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, the Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women’s healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Women’s Health website. Journal of Women’s Health is the official journal of the Society for Women’s Health Research.
About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research. A complete list of the firm’s more than 100 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.
Journal of Women s Health
The Effects of Breastfeeding on Maternal Mental Health: A Systematic Review