A preliminary study of the effects of breast-feeding on maternal health



This study is a preliminary investigation of the effects on breast-feeding and cessation of breast-feeding on maternal health. A self-report questionnaire assessed overall health, mood, stress, and psychological and upper respiratory infection symptoms in 14 current, 36 never, and 49 past breast-feeders. Results indicated that breast-feeding did not incur greater health costs to the mother compared with bottle-feeding and that cessation of breast-feeding was associated with worse mood, more stress, and a greater number of psychological symptoms compared with current breast-feeding. Physiological mechanisms, as opposed to personality factors, are discussed as a basis for these findings.

Key words

breast-feeding lactation stress health weaning oxytocin 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine ProgramColumbia-Presbyterian Medical CenterNew York

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