Psychological distress and milk volume in lactating mothers

Pamela D. Hill*, Jean C. Aldag, Robert T. Chatterton, Michael Zinaman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is twofold: (a) to compare psychological distress as measured via self-reported perceived stress, sleep, and fatigue levels in lactating mothers of a term infant and mothers of a preterm infant and (b) to determine whether the addition of psychological distress to a previous model predicts milk volume at Postpartum Week 6 by gestation group. The convenience sample of 95 mothers of a preterm infant (≤ 31 weeks) and 98 mothers of a term infant completed the Perceived Stress Visual Analogue Scale, Richards- Campbell Sleep Questionnaire, and the Fatigue Visual Analog Scale. Stress, sleep difficulty, and fatigue levels decreased during the 6-week study period for mothers of a term but not for mothers of a preterm infant. Perceived stress, sleep difficulty, and fatigue during the first 6 weeks postpartum were not related to milk volume; thus, the mother's perceived psychological distress had no apparent effect on lactation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-693
Number of pages18
JournalWestern Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Lactation
  • Preterm infants
  • Psychological distress
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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