Aim The aim of this prospective study was to examine the relationship between exclusive breastfeeding and postpartum depressive symptomatology. Our hypothesis was that mothers with depressive symptoms initially, fail exclusive breastfeeding.
Methods One hundred ninety seven mothers attended the study. The participants were interviewed two times. The first visit was within the first 48 hours after birth. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was completed by the participants. The second interview performed 6 weeks. Participants answered methods of breastfeeding for 6 weeks, any methodological problems and nipple pain. EPDS was completed by the participants in 6 weeks. Newborns were term infant.
Results All the participants divided into two groups as exclusive breastfeeding and mix-feeding (partial breastfeeding and/or bottle feeding). Both groups were compared in terms of features, such as mode of delivery, parity, prevalence of depressive symptomatology (at 48-h and 6 wk) and delayed onset of lactation within first 48. Statistical significance was found for only two variables which delayed onset of lactation within first 48-h and gestational age.
Discussion Contrary to our expectation, effect of higher maternal depressive symptomatology was not demonstrated on exclusive breastfeeding during 6 weeks after delivery. However, the important finding of this study that delayed onset of nutrition within the first 48 hours affects negatively exclusive breastfeeding during 6 weeks after delivery.
Conclusion Clinicians especially should pay attention that lactation difficulty during the first week postpartum. Early lactation difficulties are associated with greater risk of early termination of breastfeeding and lower breastfeeding success.