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Browsing by Author "Kurjenluoma, Leena"

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  • Kurjenluoma, Leena (2015)
    Introduction: Previous studies have shown that breastfeeding has an effect, for example, on mother's mood and stress regulation. There are still no previous studies of the association between breastfeeding and overall life satisfaction. The aim of this study is to find out whether the duration of breastfeeding is associated with parent's overall life satisfaction or its components i.e. parental, marital and work-life satisfaction. The longitudinal aspect of the data also makes it possible to study the association between the duration of being breastfed as a child and overall life satisfaction and its components. Methods: The data consisted of 1934 participants of the LASERI -longitudinal study, who were born in 1962-1977 and of their parents. Information of the breastfeeding duration and background variables (SES, participant's sex, age, birth weight and gestational age) was gathered via survey in 1983 from participants' parents. Parental, marital and work life satisfaction were assessed on a five-point scale by participants' parents in 1983 and by participants themselves in 2007. Overall life satisfaction was calculated as a mean of these three variables. Also, for the purpose of the analysis the variables were made into new binary variables (low satisfaction/high satisfaction). Results and conclusions: On the basis of logistic regression analyses, breastfeeding duration was associated with the parental satisfaction of the participant's mothers. Mothers who breastfed longer were 28% (p<.01) more likely to feel higher parenting satisfaction than mothers who breastfed for shorter period of time when the background variables were controlled. Breastfeeding duration did not have statistically significant association with mother's marital, work life or overall life satisfaction. Breastfeeding duration was not associated with the father's overall life satisfaction or any of its components. Also, the duration of being breastfed as a child was not associated with the participants' overall life satisfaction or any of its components as adult. The results of this study broaden the understanding of psychological effects breastfeeding has on parents and increase the knowledge of the things that contribute to parent's experiences of parental satisfaction. Although, the results of this study do not indicate whether it is the longer duration of breastfeeding that increase the mothers' parental satisfaction, or are the mothers who experience higher parental satisfaction more likely to breastfeed longer, the results underline the importance of feelings of satisfaction. In the future, it is important to pay attention to supporting mothers who have to stop breastfeeding earlier than they have intended. It is also important to offer support already in the early phases of motherhood to the mothers who are feeling low parental satisfaction.