DHA content of mothers’ milk is inverse to postpartum depression.
The abundance of DHA in breast milk depends on the supply of n-3 nutrients eaten. Mothers selectivly transfer docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) through the placenta to their fetuses during pregnancy. With insufficient dietary intake, mothers become depleted of DHA. Lower seafood consumption and lower DHA content in mothers’ milk are associated with higher rates of postpartum depression.
DHA contents of mothers’ milk was related to the foods that nursing mothers ate. Higher amounts in milk related to the prevalence of postpartum depression. Prevalence rates in Australia , Sweden , United Kingdom and United States were derived by meta-analysis of published data. All other countries are represented by a single study, DHA content of mother’s milk is expressed as the weight percent of docosahexaenoic acid of mature milk. This Figure is from a paper by J.R. Hibbeln published in the Journal of Affective Disorders 69 (2002) 15-29.