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View Full Version : Breast-Feeding: The Stress Buster That Lasts for Years



megimoo
08-10-2008, 09:24 PM
-- Breast-feeding offers a host of benefits to both mother and baby, including a stronger immune system for the baby and faster weight loss for mom. There are even some known psychological benefits from breast-feeding, such as a stronger parent-child bond.

But British researchers have recently discovered another mental bonus -- children who are breast-fed seem to cope with stress and anxiety more effectively when they reach school age.

In a group of almost 9,000 children between the ages of 5 and 10, children who weren't breast-fed and whose parents were getting divorced or separated were 9.4 times more likely to be highly anxious when compared to other children. But, children who were breast-fed as infants whose parents were getting divorced were only 2.2 times as likely to be highly anxious, the study found.

"Breast-feeding is associated with resilience against the psychosocial stress linked with parental divorce/separation," the study's authors concluded in a recent issue of the Archives of Diseases in Childhood.

The authors theorized that the physical contact between mother and child in the first few days of life could help form certain neural and hormonal pathways that affect a person's ability to cope with stress later in life.

Breast-feeding experts have long been aware of the mother-baby bond that occurs during breast-feeding. "There's a lot less verbal communication, but lots of tactile communication and eye contact that promotes positive physiological responses," said Liz Maseth, an outpatient lactation consultant at Akron's Children's Hospital in Ohio.

"Breast-feeding does seem to suppress stress responses in babies, and it does seem that there's a protective effect," she said.

"In terms of the biological possibility, breast milk is pretty amazing stuff, and the tactile interaction that goes along with breast-feeding does have an influence on the development of neurons," explained Judy Hopkinson, an associate professor of pediatrics in the section of nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Hopkinson added that babies who aren't breast-fed may be able to reap similar benefits with lots of holding and touching.

The study authors also suggested that the bond created during breast-feeding might affect the way the child and the mother interact, and that effect might be long-lasting.

Hopkinson pointed out that mothers who are successful at breast-feeding often have a supportive social network, which could also help lessen a child's stress in times of crisis.

Whatever the reason for the association, it was clear that children who had been breast-fed were less stressed.

Both Maseth and Hopkinson said it's very important to try to begin breast-feeding as soon as possible after birth -- no more than one hour. Maseth said this is because the breasts contain glands that release the same scent as amniotic fluid, a scent that babies will recognize.

"For most mothers, breast-feeding doesn't come naturally. If the baby doesn't latch on, it can lead to feelings of failure and concern about whether or not the baby is getting enough milk. Women need lots of encouragement and education," Maseth said.
http://www.livescience.com/health/616820.html

Jumpy
08-10-2008, 09:29 PM
"For most mothers, breast-feeding doesn't come naturally. If the baby doesn't latch on, it can lead to feelings of failure and concern about whether or not the baby is getting enough milk. Women need lots of encouragement and education," Maseth said. I am amazed at how many women say, "I couldnt breastfeed". It is soooo rare that a woman cannot breastfeed.

I did tons of research while I was pregnant, and NOT breastfeeding was never an option. It was the most natural thing in the world for me. Good to see that studies continue to support it as being the best choice.

OwlMBA
08-10-2008, 09:44 PM
Breastfeeding is 100% proven to be the best option for both mother and baby.

Just don't do it at the table in the nice restaurant :-)

Zeus
08-10-2008, 10:41 PM
After sucking on a breast for awhile I do feel a lot less stressful. May be something to that study :D

megimoo
08-10-2008, 11:11 PM
After sucking on a breast for awhile I do feel a lot less stressful. May be something to that study :DI can just see you breast feeding on a park bench in public !

Zeus
08-11-2008, 12:28 AM
I can just see you breast feeding on a park bench in public !

Can't do that around here. Bunch of discriminatory prudes. I think they base it on a height requirement. You know the deal ; if your height exceeds this line you can not get on the ride.. That sort of thing.:(

True story: Years ago Me & The Mrs were in the Old walmart picking up some stuff. I got bored with the "Shopping" and told the Mrs. I'd be waiting for her in the snack bar. I went in and got a drink and went and sat down. Was a lady sitting at a table directly in front of me and facing me. She was holding a baby. I said hey and we had about a 10 minute conversation before I realized she was breastfeeding the Lil baby. I apologized but she shrugged it off. She said I was like her dad in that I look a person in the eye when I am talking to them.