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Int J Nurs Stud. 2006 Jan;43(1):11-20. Epub 2004 Dec 10.

A population-based study of exclusive breastfeeding in Icelandic women: is there a relationship with depressive symptoms and parenting stress?

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Faculty of Nursing, University of Iceland, Eiriksgata 34, IS-101 Reykjavik, Iceland.


This study investigated whether postpartum depressive symptoms and parenting stress are related to exclusive breastfeeding in mothers at 2-3 months postpartum. Data were collected from 734 Icelandic mothers postpartum. Parenting stress, depressive symptoms, feeding methods and demographical data were assessed by self-administered questionnaires. A high level of maternal education increased the likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding whereas lower maternal education, high levels of depressive symptoms, twins and single motherhood reduced the likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding. It is concluded that depressive symptoms are related to lower levels of exclusive breastfeeding and that exclusive breastfeeding becomes more likely with higher level of maternal education.

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