Introduction: Studies on the relationship between prenatal psychosocial risk factors and breastfeeding are disjointed. Maternal health status has a great influence on breastfeeding, growth, and general health of the neonates. The aim of this study was to ascertain the relation between maternal mental health and breastfeeding status of mothers in Kazerun (Fars province, Iran).

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on a total of 92 pregnant women recruited from clinics in Kazerun in 2015. Participants were divided into two groups subject to exclusive breastfeeding. Spielberger Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) were used for data collection. Data analysis was performed by the SPSS version 16 using descriptive statistics, Chi-square, and Fisher’s exact test.

Results: The average of state anxiety score according to Spielberger Anxiety Inventory was 1.97±0.51 in the exclusive breastfeeding group versus 1.77±0.66 in the non- exclusive breastfeeding group (p = 0.229). The mean trait anxiety score according to Spielberger Anxiety Inventory was 1.98±0.44 in the exclusive breastfeeding group versus 2.22±0.44 in the non- exclusive breastfeeding group (p=0.132). An average of Beck Depression Inventory score was 1.35±0.84 totally (1.33±0.81 in the exclusive breastfeeding group vs. 1.33±1.00, P=0.584). An average of EPDS score was 1.65±1.11, 1.64±1.11, and 1.44±0.88 in total, in the exclusive breastfeeding and non-exclusive breastfeeding groups, respectively (p=0.604).

Conclusions: Screening anxiety and depression before and during pregnancy appeared to be necessary.


Keywords: Breast feeding, Anxiety, Depression, Iran
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