According to a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina, due to appear in the August issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, women who experience trouble breastfeeding during the first couple weeks after giving birth are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression.
Stephanie Watkins, MSPH, MSPT, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, found that women who disliked breastfeeding were "42 percent more likely to experience postpartum depression at two months compared to women who liked breastfeeding. We also found that women with severe breast pain at day one and also at two weeks postpartum were twice as likely to be depressed compared to women who did not experience pain with nursing."
Apparently there was a strong "clinical overlap", meaning moms who were struggling with breastfeeding also tended to show depressive symptoms.
Researchers used data collected as part of the Infant Feeding and Practices Study II, and assessed the postpartum depression stats of the 2,586 women in that study against the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.
Of the women studied, 8.6 percent met the criteria for major depression a couple of months after giving birth, those who disliked breastfeeding being 1.42 times as likely to be depressed and those with severe nursing pain being 1.96 times as likely to be depressed two months in.
Early difficulties with breastfeeding should therefore act as red flag for health care providers, who are urged to screen for depression in new moms early on.
You can just imagine the face she made when she came across a website called Ridiculous Pictures of Celine Dion. The blog, which parodies the Canadian singer's often comical expressions, was shut down after Dion sicked her lawyers on its founder, Nick Angiolillo.
Though it must have seemed like innocent fun at the time, the laughs couldn't last. Angiolillo recently received an angry letter. Though he claims the images were well within copyright, he posted the following farewell message on his site: "The dream is over. I can't afford even 1 hour of a lawyer's time to draft a [reply] letter for me."
At one time, Angiolillo claims he ran the most popular Celine Dion blog on the internet, which he was also forced to shut down. Unlike Dion, who obviously failed to see the funny side of the site, Angiolillo said he plans to frame the letter from her lawyers
In the meantime, he continues to run another frivolous blog called Star Jones in Hats, which features images of US TV personality Star Jones wearing a succession of different hats. If a picture really is worth a thousand words (or belly laughs, as it were), then Angiolillo is surely minted.
According to a report by UCLA psychologists in Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, today's youngsters value fame above benevolence and community -- a message they're getting from their favourite TV shows.
By studying the most popular TV shows with 9 to 11-year-olds over each decade, researchers found a dramatic change in the values from 1997 to 2007, with fame leaping to the number one spot after previously being 15th out of the 16 values rated by importance.
In 1967, the most popular shows for this demographic were "Andy Griffith" and "The Lucy Show". In 1977, it was "Laverne & Shirley" and "Happy Days", and "American Idol" and "Hannah Montana" in 2007.
After determining the most popular shows among preteens, researchers then surveyed 60 adult participants to determine the strongest values in the relevant shows. The top five values in 2007 were fame, achievement, popularity, image and financial success, while the least important were spiritualism and tradition. A sense of community, which was ranked as the top value in 1967, had fallen out of the top 10 in 2007.
Yalda T. Uhls, a UCLA doctoral student in developmental psychology and the lead author of the study, was shocked by her findings. "I thought fame would be important but did not expect this drastic an increase... If you believe that television reflects the culture, as I do, then American culture has changed drastically."
The study's senior author, Patricia M. Greenfield, a UCLA distinguished professor of psychology and director of the Children's Digital Media Center in Los Angeles, blames the result on society's increased narcissism. She claims TV not only reflects culture, it also serves as a "powerful socialization force for the next generation".
In a second as-yet-unpublished study, Uhls and Greenfield also interviewed 20 fourth, fifth and sixth graders, and found they were adopting the values reflected on television. Many admitted wanting to be famous.
If she's right, then this is a worrying trend, especially when our kids reach the age where media and peers hold more influence than parents.
"With Internet celebrities and reality TV stars everywhere, the pathway for nearly anyone to become famous without a connection to hard work and skill, may seem easier than ever," said Uhls, who has an 11-year-old daughter. "When being famous and rich is much more important than being kind to others, what will happen to kids as they form their values and their identities?"
Uls stressed the importance of talking to kids about what they see on TV, and helping them to decode its often confusing messages."