The Breastfeeding Corner

Helpful Hints: Breastfeeding and Preventing Depression

Fact: Oxytocin, which is one of the hormones that is released while breastfeeding is a powerful antidepressant. It also helps baby get fed by controlling the let-down reflex and helps a new mom fall in love with her baby.

Tip: Holidays are hectic: mom must be careful not to skip feedings or over-due it. Too much stress can cause a breast infection or other serious breast ailments.

Benefit:
Breastfeeding =
  • Convenient during the holidays: no preparation, no clean up!
  • Similar to celebrating the holidays, it honors our values, heritage and traditions.
  • Helps to burns those extra calories you will consume during the holidays.

Risk: One study suggests that overall, breastfeeding mothers had more positive moods, reported more positive events, and perceived less stress than formula-feeders. Breastfeeders had less depression and anger than formula feeders and serum prolactin levels were inversely related to stress and mood in formula-feeders. Prolactin, also known as luteotropic hormone or luteoropin, is involved in a wide range of bodily functions, including metabolism, immunity and production of breast milk.

Myth: Breastfeeding moms cannot take antidepressants. It's not safe for baby!

Breastfeeding Resource: Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 8701 Georgia Ave., Suite #412, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (240) 485-1001 www.adaa.org