Women are far more likely to experience anxiety -- versus depression -- immediately after childbirth, and this condition is linked to reduced breast-feeding and other adverse outcomes, suggests a new study in Pediatrics. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University followed 1,123 mothers who gave birth between 2006 and 2009 and who intended to breastfeed. Based on standardized interviews, 17.1% experienced anxiety during at the hospital, compared with 5.5% who experienced depression. A positive anxiety score during a maternity stay was associated with reduced breast-feeding in the first 6 months, and the association increased among first-time mothers. A weaker link was seen between depression and reduced breast-feeding. Mothers who experienced anxiety were more likely to use health care services. Screening for anxiety during the postpartum stay could improve outcomes, the authors conclude. Read the abstract.
Published in Brief: