When it comes to breastfeeding, it can be a difficult transition.
In fact, a new study from the University of Texas suggests that it can make a woman feel more stressed and anxious.
The researchers interviewed nearly 300 mothers of three to find out what they experienced during the first year of breastfeeding.
They found that the most common reaction among mothers was sadness.
They also found that anxiety and depression were prevalent among mothers, but they also noted that the experience of breastfeeding was generally positive and supportive.
However, the study also found some surprising findings: the most commonly experienced breastfeeding experiences were with a father, while the mother with the youngest child was often the most anxious and stressed.
“We found that mothers who experienced more emotional closeness to their infants, or who were more connected to their baby, were the most likely to report being happy and nurturing,” said lead author and UT graduate student Julia M. O’Donnell.
In addition to being more stressed, mothers were also more likely to feel more insecure.
O’Donnell said that the data showed that mothers are more vulnerable to emotional and psychological distress because of their breastfeeding experience.
“This may be because women are less likely to seek professional help for breastfeeding issues, and less likely than women in other settings to discuss breastfeeding,” she said.
In other words, even though women experience positive experiences during breastfeeding, the reality of the experience is much less than ideal.
Oddly enough, O’Brien’s research found that even though mothers were experiencing positive emotions, they weren’t experiencing the same feelings of attachment.
O’dell’s team hypothesized that mothers were more likely than fathers to feel isolated during the breastfeeding experience, and were more worried about their children.
“Our findings support the notion that mothers with older children may be more likely (to experience more positive emotional experiences) during the initial breastfeeding experience,” the researchers wrote.
While the new study found that emotional closess to babies may be a common experience among mothers with young children, there is still work to be done.
Onderson said that one of the biggest challenges mothers face is finding time for the infants to sleep and to get a sense of belonging.
“We need to do more research to understand why mothers who are more anxious or depressed are less happy and connected during their breastfeeding,” Ondert said.
“What we’re finding is that a lot of women are feeling more insecure and less connected to breastfeeding than other women, and there is a lot more work to do.”
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