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Ann Behav Med. 2000 Winter;22(1):71-9.

A preliminary study of breast-feeding and maternal symptomatology.

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Columbia University, USA.


The association between breast-feeding status and maternal health is examined. A survey questionnaire was presented via the World Wide Web. Self-reports of 168 breast-feeding and 65 weaned mothers between 4 and 208 weeks postpartum were compared for physician visits, symptomatology, and Perceived Stress Scale scores in the last month. Breast-feeding was associated with fewer physician visits and symptoms and less perceived stress. Moreover, the longer a woman breast-fed before she weaned, the fewer the symptoms and less stress she reported. Breast-feeding is associated with better maternal health both during the breast-feeding period and after weaning. Further research on the effects on maternal health of breast-feeding is indicated. Future prospective longitudinal investigations should address the possible inhibition of lactation by stress and physiological mechanisms that may link breast-feeding and weaning with maternal health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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