Successful Bonding Is Important
The comprehensive article on risk factors for postpartum depression has omitted important factors that can trigger or increase depression on the one hand, and counteract it on the other hand.
Risk factors for postpartum depression include weaning and separation of mother and baby. Neither was mentioned in the article. There is sufficient evidence that successful bonding and a good start to breast feeding counteract peripartum depression (2). Baby-friendly hospitals support bonding between parents and babies and promote breast feeding. Uninterrupted initial encounters, skin contact immediately after the birth, and gradual build-up of familiarity are vital for establishing a bond. Women who do not breast feed are shown in baby-friendly hospitals how to give the baby a bottle while remaining physically close. Successful bonding increases oxytocin concentrations and therefore counteracts postpartum depression. Fewer breastfeeding mothers seem to be affected by postpartum depression than non-breastfeeding mothers (1).
Baby-friendly hospitals therefore make an important contribution to the prevention of postpartum depression.
Gisela Meese M.A., Geschäftsführerin
Conflict of interest statement
The author sits on the executive board of the WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative.
|1.||Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, et al.: Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries. Evid Rep Technol Assess (Full Rep) 2007: 1–186. MEDLINE|
|2.||Ip S et al.: Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries. Evid Rep Technol Assess 2007; 153: 1–186. MEDLINE|
|3.||Hübner-Liebermann B, Hausner H, Wittmann M: Recognizing and treating peripartum depression. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(24): 419–24. VOLLTEXT|