CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Women who have breastfeeding difficulties in the first two weeks after giving birth are more likely to suffer postpartum depression two months later compared to women without such difficulties (see also Depression).
For that reason, women with breastfeeding difficulties should be screened for depressive symptoms, according to a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"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," said Stephanie Watkins, MSPH, MSPT, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The idea for the study, published online ahead of print by the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, grew from the clinical experience of senior author, Alison Stuebe, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the UNC School of Medicine.
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