In a recent study, stopping breastfeeding due to pain or physical difficulties predicted an increased risk of postnatal depression, but stopping for other reasons, such as social reasons or embarrassment, did not.
The findings highlight the importance of support for women who experience difficulties during breastfeeding.
"'We know that many new mothers want to breastfeed but often that they experience difficulties in doing so," said Dr. Amy Brown, lead author of the Journal of Advanced Nursing study. "Although the majority of women should be able to breastfeed, issues such as complications during delivery, time-pressured health professionals, and a lack of experience of what breastfeeding is really like, can all make breastfeeding more difficult. If we want more women to breastfeed, we really need to invest in the support systems to enable them to do so."