Fact or Fiction: Can Breastfeeding Cure the Baby Blues?

The Bump

According to Dr. Shoshana Bennett (“Dr. Shosh”), clinical psychologist and author of Postpartum Depression for Dummies, a lot of women ask this question. Interestingly, there isn’t a clear-cut yes or no answer. Put simply: It depends. The individual effects of hormones are unpredictable – so while one woman may feel better breastfeeding, another woman’s baby blues might actually get worse.

There are also other factors to consider. For example, Dr. Shosh explains that if breastfeeding is extremely painful for you, then weaning baby might actually help improve your mood. Also, chronic sleep deprivation can cause postpartum depression because your serotonin levels (which control your mood) decrease when you don’t get enough sleep. If you’re waking up every 2 hours to breastfeed, you might actually prolong your baby blues if you’re sensitive to sleep deprivation. This is why it's so essential that breastfeeding moms make sure they get at least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep several nights each week. It’s also important that when you do wean, you do it very slowly – especially if you’re sensitive to hormone shifts. This will help to keep your moods more stable than if you’d wean abruptly.

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4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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