Infant feeding methods and mothers psychological well-being

O'Donnell, Ursula (2015) Infant feeding methods and mothers psychological well-being. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Objective: The present study aims to develop a better understanding of how different feeding methods impact upon the psychological health of mothers.
Background: Initiation of breastfeeding in Scotland is 74% (exclusive or partial) with prevalence of breastfeeding falling to 47% at 10 days and to 37% at six weeks. The chosen feeding method a mother uses for feeding her infant can impact upon her psychologically but studies have reported inconsistently as to whether breastfeeding or formula-feeding is associated with psychological distress. Methodological limitations, including classification of feeding method, the use of unsuitable measures and assessing psychological health at wide ranging time-points preclude any definite conclusions being made.
Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 58 mothers with a biological child aged between eight weeks and six months. Twenty-six mothers were self-reported as breastfeeding exclusively, 10 formula-feeding exclusively and 22 formula-feeding following weaning from breast. Participants completed five self-reported psychological health and distress measures, with scores being compared between feeding groups.
Results & Conclusions: Mothers who weaned onto formula, after initially trying to breastfeed, experienced higher depression and negative affect compared to mothers who exclusively formula-fed. Mothers who were unable to feed as intended appeared to be more psychologically vulnerable. This has implications for clinicians and policy makers who need to be aware that support may be needed for this group.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Breastfeeding, formula-feeding, psychological health, depression, anxiety.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Jackson, Dr. Alison
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Mrs Ursula O'Donnell
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6403
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2015 07:54
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2015 07:56

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