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Breast feeding may help prevent chronic C-section pain

Breast feeding may help prevent chronic C-section pain


London, June 2017:

 

Mothers who breastfeed their babies for more than two months after a Caesarean section delivery are three times less likely to experience persistent pain, a new study has found.

Researchers from Hospital Universitario Nuestra Senora de Valme Sevilla in Spain analysed about 185 mothers who underwent a C-section at the hospital.

 

Mothers were interviewed about breastfeeding patterns and the level of chronic pain at the surgical site in the first 24 and 72 hours after C-section, and again 4 months later.

Researchers also looked at the effect of other variables on chronic pain including surgical technique, pain in the first 24-72 hours, maternal education and occupation, and anxiety during breastfeeding.

 

Almost all (87 per cent) of the mothers in the study breastfed their babies, with over half (58 per cent) reporting breastfeeding for two months or longer, researchers said.

Findings showed that around 1 in 4 (23 per cent) of the mothers who breastfed for two months or less still experienced chronic pain in the surgical site four months post-op compared to just eight per cent of those who breastfed for two months or longer.

 

These differences were notable even after adjusting for the mother's age. Further analysis showed that mothers with a university education were much less likely to experience persistent pain compared to those who were less well educated.

 

Researchers also found that over half (54 per cent) of mothers who breastfed reported suffering from anxiety.

 

"These preliminary results suggest that breastfeeding for more than two months protects against chronic post-caesarean pain, with a three-fold increase in the risk of chronic pain if breastfeeding is only maintained for 2 months or less," researchers said.

 

"Our study provides another good reason to encourage women to breastfeed. It's possible that anxiety during breastfeeding could influence the likelihood of pain at the surgical site 4 months after the operation," they said.