Mothers who do not breastfeed risk postnatal depression
Contact(s): Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150
ALBANY, N.Y. (August 14, 2009) -- Mothers who bottle feed their infants in lieu of breastfeeding put themselves at risk of developing postpartum depression, according to a team of University at Albany psychologists.
In the August issue of Medical Hypotheses, evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup and graduate researchers Nate Pipitone, Kelly Carrone, and Kevin Leadholm contend that for most of our evolutionary history the absence or early cessation of breastfeeding would have been occasioned by the miscarriage, loss, or death of an infant, and, at the level of basic biology, a mother's decision to bottle feed rather than nurse unknowingly simulates that loss. The UAlbany researchers concluded that bottle feeding triggers biological and other reactions to loss, and is a significant risk factor for postpartum depression…