Breastfed children are better behaved

July 24, 2011

Breast-fed babies grow into better behaved and more emotionally stable children than those that are bottle fed, a study has shown.
Five-year-olds who had been breast fed were almost a third less likely to suffer behavioural problems severe enough to disrupt family life.
Those reared on bottled milk formula tended to display more troublesome traits such as neediness, anxiety, hyperactivity or lying and stealing.
The link between breastfeeding and better behaviour could be explained by fatty acids in mother’s milk or bonding between child and parent, say scientists.
Researchers analysed data from a survey of around 10,000 infants born in the UK over a 12-month period between 2000 and 2001.
In total, 29% of children born after a full-term pregnancy, and 21% of those born prematurely, were breast fed for at least four months.
Parents were asked to complete Strength and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQs) designed to assess the behaviour of their children via a scoring system.
Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Dr Maria Quigley from Oxford University and colleagues concluded: “Our findings suggest that longer duration of breastfeeding (at all or exclusively) is associated with having fewer parent-rated behavioural problems in term children.”
Janet Fyle, from the Royal College of Midwives, said: “The weight of evidence about the benefits of breastfeeding is well established and this is a good study which adds to the evidence.
“However, it is vital that women get the help, advice and support from their midwives, particularly once they have gone home, because this is when breastfeeding rates fall.”

-With input

Advertisement Area


Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.