Although World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies for the child's first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. A new study provides further evidence that breast-feeding can benefit mothers, after finding that it may help to reduce chronic pain after cesarean delivery.
According to The Guardian, the new study may help to encourage some mothers to extend their breastfeeding duration, after finding that it could help to ease pain after C-section.
Researchers from Spain followed 185 women who had a C-section. Breastfeeding was taken up by 87 percent of the mothers, and 58 percent of these breastfed their babies for at least two months. Around 11.4 percent of mothers reported experiencing chronic pain after C-section.
"These preliminary results suggest that breastfeeding for more than two months protects against chronic post-cesarean pain, with a threefold increase in the risk of chronic pain if breastfeeding is only maintained for two months or less," wrote the researchers led by Dr. Carmen Alicia Vargas Berenjeno.
The researchers found that the rate of chronic pain was higher among mothers who breast-fed for a shorter duration. On further investigation, the team found that mothers who had a university education were at a reduced risk of experiencing chronic pain at four months after C-section.
The researchers also found that more than half of breastfeeding mothers reported experiencing anxiety, which they believe might affect the risk of chronic pain.