Watch Today!
View Lecture
Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures

Breastfeeding and Perinatal Mood Disorders: Circuits and Circumstances

by Maria Enrica Bettinelli, MD, IBCLC
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: .75 CERP, .75 L-CERP, .75 CME
  • Learning Format: Conference Recording
  • Handout: No
  • Origin: ABM Conference 2019

Breastfeeding, attachment, and perinatal mental disorders share the same neurobiological circuits and neurosciences have shown there are connections acting both in a protective and negative sense. Relational experiences in the early years of life put the basis for future physical and mental health. Avoiding early toxic stress is essential in preventing mental problems later. Maternal depression, and in general perinatal mental disorders of parental figures, especially of the mother, have a well-documented negative effect on infants and children, altering the mechanism of responsive interaction. Depressed mothers do not engage with their children and fail to respond to their signals. Children find this situation stressful, and there may be permanent effects arising from being raised by chronically depressed parents.
According to recent studies, breastfeeding helps reduce early toxic stress, as well as allowing optimal nutrition. The responsive interaction mode is the basis of the relationship established with breastfeeding. So breastfeeding has a significant impact on the mental health of children and adolescents. The way mothers respond to their children's needs is the key to understanding these long-term effects. When mothers respond consistently to the signals of their children, they lay the foundations for the resilience of their children. By understanding that the success of breastfeeding is linked to perinatal maternal mental health, we can create awareness when counseling the breastfeeding mother.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Understand relationship and mechanisms linking breastfeeding, attachment and perinatal mental health;
Objective 2: Learn how breastfeeding can reduce risk of perinatal mood disorders;
Objective 3: Manage and support breastfeeding in case of mothers affected by perinatal mood disorders.

Presentations: 6  |  Hours / CE Credits: 3.75  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks