Cytokines, Infections, Stress, and Dysphoric Moods in Breastfeeders and Formula feeders
Article first published online: 31 AUG 2006
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 35, Issue 5, pages 599–607, September/October 2006
How to Cite
Groer, M. W. and Davis, M. W. (2006), Cytokines, Infections, Stress, and Dysphoric Moods in Breastfeeders and Formula feeders. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 35: 599–607. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2006.00083.x
- Issue published online: 31 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 31 AUG 2006
- Accepted: June 2006
- HPA axis;
- Th1/Th2 cytokines
Objective: To analyze relationships between stress, moods, and immunity in breastfeeding compared to formula-feeding mothers.
Design: A cross-sectional study of 181 healthy mothers, exclusively breastfeeding or formula feeding, studied at 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth.
Setting: Mothers were recruited in the postpartum unit of the hospital and then visited in their homes once at 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth for data collection.
Main Outcome Measures: Stress, mood, infection symptoms, and serum levels of interferon-gamma and interleukin-10 were measured.
Results: Formula-feeding mothers had evidence of decreased interferon-gamma and a decreased serum Th1/Th2 ratio (interferon-gamma/interleukin-10) when perceived stress, dysphoric moods, and negative life events were high, an effect consistent with depression of cellular immunity. However, women who were breastfeeding did not show these relationships.
Conclusions: The data suggest that breastfeeding confers some psychoneuroimmunological benefit to mothers, perhaps through prolactin or hypothalamic-hypophyseal-adrenocortical axis stress refractoriness. JOGNN, 35, 599-607; 2006. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00083.x