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Health Psychol. 2002 Mar;21(2):187-93.

Breast-feeding is associated with reduced perceived stress and negative mood in mothers.

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Behavioral Medicine Program, Columbia University, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, New York 10032-3784, USA.


Two studies examined the effects of breast-feeding on maternal stress and mood. In Experiment 1, perceived stress in the past month was compared between 28 breast-feeding and 27 bottle-feeding mothers. Breast-feeding mothers reported less perceived stress, after controlling for demographic confounds. In Experiment 2, mood ratings were assessed in the same 24 mothers both before and then after 1 breast-feeding and 1 bottle-feeding session. Breast-feeding was associated with a decrease in negative mood, and bottle-feeding was associated with a decrease in positive mood from pre- to postfeeding. Results indicated that breast-feeding buffers negative mood. These effects appeared to be attributable to the effects of breast-feeding itself and not solely to individual-differences factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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