Fatigue and Breastfeeding: An Inevitable Partnership?

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Abstract

Postpartum fatigue is a normal condition that most women experience. Breastfeeding is often associated in women's minds as contributing to the feeling of overall perceived fatigue, and many women indicate that they have ceased breastfeeding because of fatigue. However, the relationship between feeding choice and perceived fatigue has never been established. Two hundred and fifty-three women participated in a study examining whether perceived fatigue differed for bottle-feeding and breastfeeding women at 3 different times during the postpartum period (2–4 days, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks postpartum). Results showed no significant differences for these 2 groups, suggesting that perceived fatigue during the postpartum period is not dependent on feeding choice. Additional analyses examining other variables with a potential effect were nonsignificant. Because perceived physical fatigue does not appear to be dependent on feeding choice, women should be prepared for the feeling of perceived fatigue during the postpartum period while at the same time be reassured that feeding choice is not correlated.

La fatiga postparto es una condición normal que la mayoría de las mujeres experimentan. Mientras que las mujeres con frecuencia asocian la lactancia materna como un factor que contribuye a la fatiga percibida, y muchas indican que suspendieron la lactancia debido a la fatiga, la relación entre el método de alimentación y la fatiga percibida nunca se ha establecido. En este estudio participaron 253 mujeres para examinar si la fatiga percibida es diferente entre las mujeres que alimentan con biberón y las que lactan a sus bebes en 3 periodos durante el postparto (2–4 días, 6 semanas y 12 semanas). Los resultados no mostraron diferencias significativas en los dos grupos sugiriendo que la fatiga percibida durante el postparto no depende del modo de alimentación elegido; adicionalmente los análisis que examinaron otras variables con un efecto potencial no fueron significativos. La fatiga física percibida no parece ser dependiente a la alimentación elegida, las mujeres deben prepararsen para la sensación de fatiga percibida durante el postparto mientras al mismo tiempo asegurarsen que el modo de alimentación no esta correlacionado.

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