Menu

Moms who get breastfeeding support may avoid postpartum depression—new study reveals

Feeding babies is so hard, but support can make it—and the whole postpartum period—a lot easier.

Moms who get breastfeeding support may avoid postpartum depression—new study reveals

Mama, we know breastfeeding your newborn can be so hard. I know when I was nursing my son, I found it stressful to juggle work and his need to feed right on the spot. I also worried constantly about breastfeeding in the middle of the night because I was afraid of falling asleep during a feeding.


Nursing can take such a physical and emotional toll on a new mama, which is why seeking support for breastfeeding struggles is so important to protect moms from postpartum depression.

According to a new survey conducted by the U.K.-based Priory Group, most parents believe that breastfeeding woes triggered postpartum depression. In particular, 80% of the more than 1,000 parents surveyed in the U.K. said that unsuccessful or painful breastfeeding is a key factor contributing to symptoms of depression in new moms, which the National Health Service estimates affects one in every 10 mothers. (About one in nine women in the United States experience postpartum depression symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Priory consultant psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Hollins, a parent and child mental health expert, says, “New mums need to be gently encouraged to explore all reasons as to why breastfeeding might not be working for them — and that an excessive amount of pressure, although well-intentioned, from health professionals and peers may do more harm than good.”

The Priory survey findings suggest that practical and emotional breastfeeding support needs to be made a priority for new mothers everywhere. Breastfeeding as a new parent can be so stressful that many mamas stop early way before the recommended year mark or don’t start at all. In fact, according to the CDC, only 81% of moms breastfeed; of that number, only 22% of mothers do so exclusively for the first six months.

But those statistics are not surprising. There are so many reasons why a new mom would stop nursing or choose not to breastfeed: It may be painful, their child cannot latch, they may not produce enough milk, they may not have the time, or their baby may nurse too often or not often enough. These are also reasons why so many mamas feel like an instant failure at breastfeeding, and may begin to feel depressed.

Speaking to Cosmopolitan UK, Hollins says, "I am convinced that many moms would be breastfeeding their babies happily and for longer if early help from professionals and experienced mothers was available at the exact moments when moms are faced with a screaming, hungry baby who hasn’t quite worked out how to ‘latch on’."

Even if you choose not to breastfeed and decide to formula-feed instead, practical and emotional help should still be made available. Feeding as a whole can be difficult for any new parent, and without the proper support system, you end up feeling alone. But you don’t have to be.

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

Keep reading Show less
Life