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: Maternal psychological state may influence the passive transfer of immune factors (e.g., immunoglobulin) via the mother's breast milk. The aim of this study was to determine whether a correlation exists between mothers' postpartum psychological state and their breast milk secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) levels. Eighty-one mothers who delivered at an urban general hospital were included in our analysis. Two weeks after delivery, we measured their breast milk SIgA levels and simultaneously documented their psychological state using the Profile of Mood States (POMS), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scales. Breast milk SIgA levels were negatively correlated with negative POMS states (tension-anxiety, depression-dejection, anger-hostility, fatigue, and confusion). A negative correlation was also observed between SIgA levels and GHQ mental health (r = -.625, P = .000), and a similar negative correlation was observed with STAI trait and state anxieties. However, no correlation existed between breast milk SIgA levels and the positive POMS state (vigor). These results indicate that the maternal psychological state may affect the immune properties of breast milk. © The Author(s) 2015.Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association 01/2015; DOI:10.1177/1078390314566882
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ABSTRACT: Breastfeeding is a dynamic biological and social process based on hormonal regulation involving oxytocin. While there is much work on the role of breastfeeding in infant development and on the role of oxytocin in socio-emotional functioning in adults, little is known about how breastfeeding impacts emotion perception during motherhood. We therefore examined whether breastfeeding influences emotion recognition in mothers. Using a dynamic emotion recognition task, we found that longer durations of exclusive breastfeeding were associated with faster recognition of happiness, providing evidence for a facilitation of processing positive facial expressions. In addition, we found that greater amounts of breastfed meals per day were associated with slower recognition of anger. Our findings are in line with current views of oxytocin function and support accounts that view maternal behaviour as tuned to prosocial responsiveness, by showing that vital elements of maternal care can facilitate the rapid responding to affiliative stimuli by reducing importance of threatening stimuli.Scientific Reports 11/2014; 4:7006. DOI:10.1038/srep07006 · 5.08 Impact Factor