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Breastfeeding 'helps to lessen postnatal depression'

Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to get postnatal depression, new research has found.

The survey of the mothers of almost 14,000 babies found those who planned to breastfeed, and went on to, were around 50% less likely to become depressed than those who did not.

However, women who planned to breastfeed and are unable to are at the highest risk of developing the condition.

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Mothers 'shouldn't feel guilty about not breastfeeding'

There needs to be better support for new mothers, whether they breastfeed or not, the head of the Royal College of Midwives said.

Cathy Warwick added that "women should not feel guilty about not breastfeeding."

A new study has revealed women who want to breastfeed but are unable to are at most risk of developing postnatal depression.

It is vital [women] receive high-quality support immediately after the baby is born and throughout the postnatal period.

If better support was available, less women would face the disappointment of not being able to breastfeed. However, not all women do successfully breastfeed their baby and it is critical, as this study points out, that midwives are also able to support women positively when this is the case.

Women should not feel guilty about not breastfeeding and should be helped to feed their baby in a way which encourages close contact and mother/baby interaction.

– Cathy Warwick

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