Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Postpartum Depression? Try Breast-Feeding. (Incidence Halved)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Postpartum Depression? Try Breast-Feeding. (Incidence Halved)

Article excerpt

BARCELONA, SPAIN -- Breast feeding may reduce the risk of postpartum depression in the year after delivery by nearly half, compared with bottle-feeding, Dr. Elizabeth S. Mezzacappa reported at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.

In a diverse national sample of 605 women who breast-fed in the first year post partum, 15% became depressed, based on a score of 16 or above on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. In contrast, the unadjusted incidence of depression was twice as high (29%) among the 378 women who did not breast-feed.

The difference remained significant (odds ratio of 0.6) after adjusting for education, income, and other demographic and situational factors, said Dr. Mezzacappa of Columbia University, New York.

The analysis used data from the National Maternal and Infant Health Survey for 1988 and follow-up data from 1991. Roughly equal numbers of white and African American women were included, and the median income was $16,000.

The advantage of breast-feeding disappeared over time. …

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