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Title: Infant feeding methods and mothers' psychological well-being
Author: O'Donnell, Ursula
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 4299
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2015
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology