Analyzing the Relationship Between Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression: An Integrative Review
School of Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
breastfeeding, postpartum depression, EPDS
Johnson, Sarah K., "Analyzing the Relationship Between Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression: An Integrative Review" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3075.
Treating maternal mental health and identifying contributing factors are priorities in health care. Postpartum depression is a very prevalent and burdensome illness in the United States that negatively affects the health and well-being of postpartum mothers as well as their infants. While breastfeeding is known to be advantageous to both maternal and infant health, it may be implicated in the development of postpartum depression in some scenarios. The purpose of this integrative review is to examine the relationship between breastfeeding and postpartum depression to promote the best health outcomes for both the mother and the child with goals of determining whether rates of postpartum depression differ in relation to breastfeeding and uncovering strategies to decrease postpartum depression within the realm of breastfeeding. This integrative review found an inverse relationship between breastfeeding and postpartum depression exists: Breastfeeding may be protective against postpartum depression, but postpartum depression may encumber successful breastfeeding. The project leader performed a thematic data analysis of the literature and identified themes, then produced suggestions for practice to decrease the prevalence of postpartum depression within the realm of breastfeeding.