Postpartum Depression (PPD) is the most common childbearing-related illness around the globe affecting both mothers and their children; yet minimal longitudinal research has been done to study the effect of depressive symptomatology on breastfeeding. This study analyzes how the benefits of breastfeeding past six months, postpartum, can be used as a treatment mechanism for postpartum depression (PPD) with the major contributing factor of gestational weight gain (GWG) in Hispanic women recently immigrated to the United States. I investigated journal articles in four main domains: the likelihood of women presenting with depressive symptomatology as a result of weight gain to initiate and continue breastfeeding, the negative association between increasing maternal antepartum weight and breastfeeding, the possible biological explanations for PPD in women who don’t breastfeed, and the benefits that breastfeeding past six months postpartum can have on MDE and GWG in women. I identified that a correlation between antepartum weight and GWG increases the rate of MDE among women, which has an inverse relationship on women’s likelihood to initiate and continue breastfeeding. Cessation of breastfeeding can put women at risk for increased weight gain and toxic levels of retinoids (Vitamin A) that can lead to cognitive disturbances. Since no longitudinal studies have been conducted specifically examining this comorbidity, more data needs to be collected to support the hypothesis. In order to effectively treat this comorbidity, both biological and psychological causes need to be examined in order to diagnose a major depressive episode (MDE). These methods coupled with a culturally appropriate counseling system can be used to effectively educate women on the benefits of breastfeeding past six months, postpartum, as a treatment mechanism for postpartum depression (PPD) with the major contributing factor of gestational weight gain (GWG) in Hispanic women recently immigrated to the United States.
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