Monday, May 9, 2011

Breast Feeding and Development: A Connection??

Could being breast-fed as a baby have a long-term impact on behavior as an adult? According to a new report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood it just might. The new report finds that babies who are breast-fed for at least four months are less likely to have behavioral problems as five year olds. We know that breast-feeding has other advantages including help with fighting infections because of antibodies transferred in mother's milk and with bonding between mother and child. Obviously this is excellent news for breast-feeding mothers. However I'm always concerned about studies like this. Many women have difficulty breast-feeding and it is important they don't feel guilty if they can't. Today we have infant formula that closely matches breastmilk. Mothers who spend quality time feeding their baby with the bottle certainly can bond with the child as well. Nevertheless this is a very interesting study and one that no doubt will be followed up with further studies in time