Research: Breastfeeding improves behaviour

Private maternity service providers might want to add another item to the list of breastfeeding benefits.

Mothers are already encouraged to breastfeed their children if possible for the parent's and the child's health.

However, a new study from Oxford University has discovered that children who are breastfed are also less likely to have behavioural problems.

In a study of 10,000 mothers and their babies, the team found that just six per cent of those who were breastfed showed signs of behavioural problems by the age of five.

However, 16 per cent of those who were formula-fed had issues like anxiousness, clinginess, restlessness and lying or stealing.

Published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, the research concluded that breastfeeding for at least four months can help lower behavioural problems.

Maria Quigley from the university told the BBC: "We just don't know whether it is because of the constituents in breast milk, or the close interaction with the mum, or whether it is a knock-on effect of reduced illness in breastfed babies.

"But it does begin to look like we can add fewer behavioural problems as another potential benefit of breastfeeding."


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Research: Breastfeeding improves behaviour
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