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The Association of Breastfeeding Difficulties at the 6th week Postpartum with Maternal Psychological Well-being and Other Perinatal Factors: a Greek Retrospective Longitudinal Study

Maria Dagla, Calliope Dagla, Irina Mrvoljak-Theodoropoulou, Eleni Kontiza, Eleni Tsolaridou, Evangelia Antoniou.


Background. The difficulties a woman faces with breastfeeding are among the factors that can lead to its early cessation. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the presence of maternal breastfeeding difficulties at the 6th week postpartum is associated either with maternal psychological well-being and the presence of a mental health disorder in the perinatal period or with other perinatal factors. Methods: This study was conducted at a primary mental health facility in Athens (Greece), the “Day Center for the Care of the Mental Health of Women (Perinatal Mental Health Disorders)”. It is a retrospective longitudinal study, examining a sample of 622 women who used the Day Center’s services from January 2015 to May 2018. Statistical analyses included the Spearman rank correlation coefficients and multiple univariate analyses of variance. Results: Increased scores on psychometric tools (EPDS, PHQ-9) during pregnancy or postpartum are associated with increased maternal breastfeeding difficulties at the 6th week postpartum. Other factors such as an unplanned conception (p=.016), maternal dissatisfaction with labor (p=.038) and formula feeding in the hospital (p

Key words: breastfeeding difficulties, postpartum, psychological well-being.

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