Breastfeeding and PPD update

CJ over at Light and Momentary writes:

Hey, how are you?  Did you see this study about bfing and PPD?

The EFA info caught my eye since you’ve recommended EFA supplements to the mothers who read your site.  Here’s a quote:

DHA appears to have a role in the prevention of depression, but according to two recent reviews, has no efficacy in treatment of depression when used alone [67, 69]. In the Adelaide Mothers’ and Babies’ Iron Trial, a 1% increase in plasma DHA was related to a 59% decrease in depressive symptoms postpartum [57]. In a large population study, women who consumed high amounts of seafood during pregnancy and had high levels of DHA in the milk had lower rates of postpartum depression [70].

DHA may have another effect that could help prevent depression postpartum. In a study of infant sleep, mothers with high levels of DHA during pregnancy had babies who exhibited a more mature sleep pattern in the first few days of life [71]. The investigators examined the ratio of quiet to active sleep using a monitor placed beneath the crib mattress. A higher percentage of quiet sleep is characteristic of older babies, and is considered a more mature sleep pattern. Babies whose mothers had high levels of DHA during pregnancy exhibited more mature sleep patterns as neonates. The investigators concluded that babies of high-DHA mothers had more mature central nervous systems than babies of mothers who were low in DHA. Although this was not study of depression per se, babies with more mature sleep patterns also allow mothers to get more uninterrupted sleep – and this could have an indirect effect on their mothers’ mental health [71].

Really interesting. I posted this as soon as she sent it to me, so I haven’t had a chance to really dig into the study. Anyone want to start commenting, and then I’ll join in once I’ve really looked at it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *