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J Reprod Med. 2007 Aug;52(8):689-95.

Postpartum anxiety and breast feeding.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. johnrbritton@comcast.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the relationship between postpartum anxiety and lactation experience, knowledge, confidence and performance.

STUDY DESIGN:

State anxiety was measured among breast-feeding women by the State Trait Anxiety Inventory before hospital discharge and at 1 month postpartum. Breast-feeding experience and knowledge were assessed by focused questions and confidence by the Breastfeeding Confidence Scale. Breast-feeding performance measures included breast-feeding immediately after delivery; formula supplementation in the hospital; full, exclusive breast-feeding; and breast-feeding termination at 1 month postpartum.

RESULTS:

Predischarge anxiety correlated inversely with breast-feeding confidence (r [339] = -0.27, p = 0.000) but not with experience or knowledge. As compared to low-anxiety mothers, those with high anxiety were less likely to breast-feed after delivery (53.0% vs. 65.1%, p = 0.049) and more likely to give their infants formula (43.9% vs. 29.1%, p = 0.022). In logistic regression models adjusting for demographic and social factors, high-anxiety mothers were less likely to practice full, exclusive breast-feeding (AOR = 0.39; 95% CI 0.20, 0.74; p < 0.005) and more likely to have terminated breastfeeding at 1 month (AOR = 4.40; 95% CI 1.70, 11.33; p < 0.005).

CONCLUSION:

Postpartum anxiety may be associated with reduced breast-feeding confidence and lactation performance. Awareness of this association may be helpful in identifying women at risk for lactation failure and targeting efforts to promote breast-feeding.

PMID:
17879829
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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