A British Study Found That Babies Who Were Breastfed Had Less Behavioral Problems By Five Years Old Than Did Babies Who Were Formula Fed.

A British study found that babies who were breastfed had less behavioral problems by five years old than did babies who were formula fed.

Breastfeeding equals good behavior...

...so says a British study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. The study found that babies who were breastfed had less behavioral problems by five years old than did babies who were formula fed. Interesting. The study, reported by MSNBC, was conducted by examining data on over 9,500 moms and their babies. The information was collected between 2000 and 2001. The babies were born full term.
They used data on whether mothers had breast-fed and how long for and combined these with the results of the "strengths and difficulties" questionnaire used for identifying children with possible behavioral problems. They found abnormal scores for the questionnaires, which indicate potential behavioral problems, were less common in children breast-fed for at least four months -- at 6 percent --than in formula fed children -- at 16 percent.
The researchers also accounted for other factors, such as socioeconomic status and parental factors, and still found that children who were breastfed showed less behavioral problems. The researchers did note that the behavior problems weren't necessarily severe, but rather issues such as "unusual anxiousness, restlessness, inability to socialize with other children or play fully in groups." Two of the potential reasons for the results:
The researchers said one possible reason for the findings was that breast milk contains large amounts of essential long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, growth factors and hormones which are important in brain and nervous system development. The results might also be explained by the fact that breast-feeding leads to more interaction between mother and child and better learning of acceptable behaviors, they said.
While we all know that breast milk is best, and while we always encourage moms to breastfeed when possible, I think it's also important to remember not to let this sort of information contribute to any mommy guilt associated with decisions about (or circumstances surrounding) bottle feeding or breast feeding. More on breastfeeding Does breastfeeding result in a stronger emotional bond? First Lady Michelle Obama promoting breastfeeding Women shouldn’t feel guilt over breastfeeding decisions

recommended for you

Comments