Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breastfeeding And Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help New Moms Fight Depression

Date:
May 3, 2007
Source:
University of New Hampshire
Summary:
Breastfeeding and the good fats in Omega-3 fatty acids help new moms fight depression, according to a new article. The researcher noted that breastfeeding protects maternal mood by lowering stress.

Breastfeeding and the good fats in Omega-3 fatty acids help new moms fight depression, according to a new article published in the International Breastfeeding Journal by a University of New Hampshire researcher.

Related Articles


"Depression in new mothers is common in many cultures, affecting anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of postpartum women. In some high-risk populations, the percentage can even be as high as 40 percent or 50 percent. Since depression has devastating effects on both mother and baby, it's vital that it be identified and treated promptly. Depressed mothers are also more likely to stop breastfeeding with negative health effects for each," Kathleen Kendall-Tackett said.

According to Kendall-Tackett, physical and psychological stressors increase inflammation, which is one of the top contributors to depression in new mothers. Most current treatments for depression, including the long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, are anti-inflammatory.

New mothers experience an increase in inflammation because of increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines. These levels dramatically increase in the last trimester of pregnancy and continue to elevate during the postpartum period. Moreover, common experiences of new motherhood, such as sleep disturbance, postpartum pain, and past or current psychological trauma, act as stressors that cause proinflammatory cytokine levels to rise, according to Kendall-Tackett.

"Breastfeeding protects maternal mood by lowering stress. When stress levels are lower, the mother's inflammatory response system will not be activated, thereby lowering her risk of depression," she said. "However positive these results, I must issue one caveat: they only apply when breastfeeding is going well. As noted earlier, when breastfeeding that is not going well, particularly if there is pain, it becomes a trigger to depression rather than something that lessens the risk. Mothers' mental health is yet another reason to intervene quickly when breastfeeding difficulties arise."

The review was authored by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, a health psychologist and researcher at UNH's Crimes against Children Research Center. Kendall-Tackett presents her findings in the article "A New Paradigm for Depression in New Mothers: The Central Role of Inflammation and How Breastfeeding and Anti-Inflammatory Treatments Protect Maternal Mental Health."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New Hampshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of New Hampshire. "Breastfeeding And Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help New Moms Fight Depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502120352.htm>.
University of New Hampshire. (2007, May 3). Breastfeeding And Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help New Moms Fight Depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502120352.htm
University of New Hampshire. "Breastfeeding And Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help New Moms Fight Depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502120352.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins