SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT

The benefits of breastfeeding for the infant are well known. Much less is known, however, about how the woman's choice of feeding method is related to her maternal role adjustment during the initial weeks postpartum. Mother-infant mutuality and maternal anxiety scores of 60 first time mothers were examined using analysis of variance techniques. Method of infant feeding (breast, bottle, or combination) was found to be responsible for a significant amount of the variance in both scores. At one month postpartum, women who breastfed their infants had scores indicating less anxiety and more mutuality than the women bottle feeding their infants. An interpretation of the results using role theory concepts provides a possible explanation of the relationships found. Differences in the character of interactions involved with breast and bottle feeding may influence other aspects of maternal role transitions.