Association of Breastfeeding with the Risk of Postpartum Depression: A Psychoneuroimmune Perspective
Repository Posting Date2016-03-17T12:58:40Z
Author DetailsSukhee Ahn, RN, WHNP; Elizabeth Corwin, RN, FNP
Lead Author Sigma AffliationAlpha Mu
Other Title(s)Depression in Women: Research Regarding Mental Health Stressors and Status
Session presented on Monday, July 27, 2015: Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of stress response, immune, and depressive symptoms, and explore the relationships among these variables in women predominantly breastfeeding or bottle feeding at 6 month postpartum. Methods: This is a part of a larger longitudinal study across 6 months postpartum investigating the psychoneuroimmunology of postpartum depression. One hundred nineteen postpartum women who met inclusion/exclusion criteria were followed up from the prenatal period to postpartum 6 months. Data were collected during seven home visits occurring during the 3rd trimester (weeks 32-36) and on postpartum days 7 and 14, months 1, 2, 3, and 6. Women completed stress and depression surveys and provided blood for pro- (IL-1?, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-a, IFN-?) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines, and collected saliva for diurnal cortisol. Results: Self-report of predominant breastfeeding during 6 months postpartum ranged from 91.9% at day 7 to 70.6% at 6 months postpartum. There were no associations between the patterns of feeding and depressive symptoms. Biological differences, however, existed between the groups, with levels of salivary cortisol at 8 AM and 8:30 AM at month 6 higher and IL-6 lower in women who primarily breastfed compared to those who primarily bottle fed their infants after controlling for confounding variables. Conclusion: Breastfeeding was not related to postpartum depression, but differences in stress and inflammatory markers are apparent through 6 months postpartum.