Breastfeeding

Psychological Distress in the Mother May Affect Levels of Immunoglobulins in Breast Milk

We have seen multiple studies which indicate that postpartum depression (PPD) interferes with breastfeeding.  Postpartum women who suffer from depression are less likely to breastfeed, and they typically breastfeed for a shorter duration than women who are not depressed.  A recent study looks at an entirely different question, asking whether postpartum stress affects the quality of the breast milk.  In this study, the researchers focused on levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the breast milk.  (Immunoglobulins or antibodies are passed from the mother to the baby through the breast milk and help to confer immunity.)