Differences between exclusive breastfeeders, formula-feeders, and controls: A study of stress, mood, and endocrine variables
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine relationships among lactational status, naturalistic stress, mood, and levels of serum cortisol and prolactin and plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Eighty-four exclusively breastfeeding, 99 exclusively formula-feeding, and 33 nonpostpartum healthy control women were studied. The postpartum mothers were studied cross-sectionally once between 4 and 6 weeks after the birth. Stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale, the Tennessee Postpartum Stress Scale, and the Inventory of Small Life Events. Mood was measured using the Profile of Mood States. Serum prolactin, plasma ACTH, and serum cortisol levels were measured by commercial ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) kits. Results indicate that breastfeeding mothers had more positive moods, reported more positive events, and perceived less stress than formula-feeders. Reports of stressful life events were generally equivalent in the two groups. Serum prolactin was inversely related to stress and mood in formula-feeders. When breast and formula-feeders were compared to controls, they had higher serum cortisol, lower stress, and lower anxiety. Breastfeeders had lower perceived stress than controls. Breastfeeders had lower depression and anger and more positive life events reported than formula-feeders. However, there were few correlations among stress, mood, and the hormones in postpartum mothers, and those only in formula-feeders, whereas strong relationships were found between serum ACTH and a number of stress and mood variables in controls. Postpartum mothers reported a range of stress and negative moods at 4 to 6 weeks, and in formula-feeders, serum prolactin was related to some of the stress and mood variables. Breastfeeding appears to be somewhat protective of negative moods and stress.
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate physiologic measures of stress with self-reported perceived stress and depressive symptoms among mothers of preterm babies currently hospitalized in an NICU. This was a cross-sectional, descriptive, single-visit study of 20 mothers of hospitalized preterm infants. Data collected included self-report behavioral measures and a brief structured interview. Biological data were available on 17 mothers. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Mothers reported high levels of stress and depressive symptoms. Higher levels of stress and more depressive symptoms were associated with higher levels of certain serum cytokines, higher levels of waking and afternoon salivary cortisol, and abnormal diurnal patterns of salivary α-amylase. A NICU admission is a stressful time for which families typically have not had the opportunity to prepare. Mothers with higher levels of stress and depressive symptoms may be at higher risk for poorer physical and mental health. This study highlights the high levels of stress and depressive symptoms that may be experienced by mothers of preterm infants, and suggests the potential value of developing effective strategies to target maternal psychological distress.MCN. The American journal of maternal child nursing 03/2011; 36(2):91-7. DOI:10.1097/NMC.0b013e318205587e · 0.84 Impact Factor
- Monografi 05/2010; Stockholms universitet., ISBN: 978-91-7447-047-5
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ABSTRACT: Healthy mother-infant interactions are critical for the physical, cognitive, and psychological development of offspring. Such interactions rely on numerous factors, including a positive maternal emotional state. However, many postpartum women experience emotional dysregulation, often involving elevated anxiety. Neuroendocrine factors contributing to the onset of postpartum anxiety symptoms are mostly unknown, but irregularities in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function, reduced prolactin and oxytocin signaling, or parturitional withdrawal of ovarian, placental and neural steroids could contribute to anxiety in susceptible women. Although the causes of initial onset are unclear, postpartum anxiety can be mitigated by recent contact with infants. Numerous neurochemical systems, including oxytocin, prolactin, GABA, and norepinephrine mediate this anxiolytic effect of infant contact. Insight into the etiology of postpartum anxiety disorders, and how contact with infants helps counter existing anxiety dysregulation, will surely facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of postpartum women at risk for, or experiencing, an anxiety disorder.Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 08/2007; 28(2-3):115-41. DOI:10.1016/j.yfrne.2007.05.002 · 7.58 Impact Factor