The results of these previous studies are remarkably consistent. Breastfeeding mothers are less tired and get more sleep than their formula- or mixed-feeding counterparts. And this lowers their risk for depression. Doan and colleagues noted the following.
Using supplementation as a coping strategy for minimizing sleep loss can actually be detrimental because of its impact on prolactin hormone production and secretion. Maintenance of breastfeeding, as well as deep restorative sleep stages, may be greatly compromised for new mothers who cope with infant feedings by supplementing in an effort to get more sleep time. (p. 201)
In sum, advising women to avoid nighttime breastfeeding to lessen their risk of depression is not medically sound. In fact, if women follow this advice, it may actually increase their risk of depression.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Breastfeeding and depression
This article considers the claim that mothers should avoid feeding at night, and after analyzing several studies finds that: