Maternal anxiety and breastfeeding: findings from the MAVAN (Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment) Study.

TitleMaternal anxiety and breastfeeding: findings from the MAVAN (Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment) Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAdedinsewo DA, Fleming AS, Steiner M, Meaney MJ, Girard AWebb
Corporate AuthorsMAVAN team
JournalJ Hum Lact
Volume30
Issue1
Pagination102-9
Date Published2014 Feb
ISSN1552-5732
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Anxiety, Breast Feeding, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mothers, Multivariate Analysis, Postpartum Period, Pregnancy, Psychological Tests, Self Report, Young Adult
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Maternal anxiety and depression may impair maternal intention, motivation, and self-efficacy in multiple domains associated with child health including breastfeeding.OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that mothers who experience substantial anxiety during pregnancy or the postpartum period are at increased risk for reduced initiation, exclusivity, and continuation of breastfeeding.METHODS: We obtained data on 255 Canadian pregnant women from the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN) study recruited between June 2004 and February 2009. We utilized data collected from 18 to 23 weeks gestation through 12 months postpartum. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess whether scores on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were associated with initiation, exclusivity, and continuation of breastfeeding.RESULTS: Prenatal anxiety was not associated with breastfeeding outcomes. In adjusted models, a single point increase in HAM-A scores at 3 months postpartum was associated with an 11% reduction in the odds of exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.89; 95% CI, 0.80-0.99). A single point increase in STAI State and STAI Trait scores at 3 months postpartum was associated with a 4% (aOR = 0.96; 95% CI, 0.92-0.99) and 7% (aOR = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.86-1.00) reduction, respectively, in the odds of any breastfeeding at 12 months.CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest a relationship between maternal anxiety and reduced exclusivity and continuation of breastfeeding. Maternal anxiety should be actively monitored and managed appropriately in the postpartum period to support optimal breastfeeding practices.

DOI10.1177/0890334413504244
Alternate JournalJ Hum Lact
PubMed ID24065719
Grant List / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada