Korea: breastfeeding could protect against depression in later life

08 March 2019

Women who breastfeed their children are almost two-thirds less likely to suffer from post-menopausal depression.

Breastfeeding iStock

The risk of depression decreased by 29% for each additional infant breastfed, and by 9.3% for each additional year of breastfeeding. Women who breastfed for at least 47 months had a 67% decreased risk of depression, compared with those who did so for less than 24 months.

The joint Korean-US study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, involved more than 1200 mothers. Lead author Dr Sangshin Park, of Brown University in the US, said: ‘Our study findings indicate that breastfeeding is beneficial, not only to infants’ short-term and long-term health, but also to maternal psychological health.

‘Expectant and new mothers could be informed about the long-term benefits of breastfeeding for their mental health.

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