Breastfeeding Pain Linked to Postpartum Depression

 Take home message: if having pain while breastfeeding, seek knowledgable help.

Excerpted from an article by Lisa Rapaport, Medscape Nurses October 29, 2015.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Mothers who stop breastfeeding due to pain or difficulty getting babies to nurse may be more likely to develop postpartum depression than mothers who stop nursing for other reasons, a small UK study suggests.

Whether women experience depression after breastfeeding may be related to how much they felt they had control over the reasons that motivated them to stop, lead author Dr. Amy Brown of Swansea University in Wales told Reuters Health by email.

“… if they feel they have to [stop breastfeeding] because of pain or physical difficulties then they may not be so ready and really want to continue, but feel the choice has been taken away from them,” Dr. Brown added. “They may also worry that they’re doing it ‘wrong’ or in some way they are to blame.”

Dr. Brown and colleagues analyzed questionnaires from 217 women who started breastfeeding when their babies were born but stopped before six months. Questions touched on how long women breastfed, why they stopped, and also measured depression.

SOURCE: J Adv Nurs 2015.