Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Breastfeeding leads to better-behaved kids, study says

Wed, Oct 29, 2008 (Reuters Health) — Breastfeeding may have a positive influence on behavior in early childhood, according to results of a study presented Wednesday at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting in San Diego.

In the study, parents of 1- to 5-year-old children who were breastfed as infants were 15 percent less likely to report concern for the child's behavior than parents of kids who were not breastfed.
In addition, breastfed children were 37 percent less likely to have doctor-diagnosed behavior or conduct problems or to have received mental health care.

The findings -- based on more than 100,000 interviews with parents or guardians on the health of their children conducted as part of the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health -- also support studies that have showed that breastfeeding enhances intellectual ability in children.

Specifically, parents of breastfed children were 23 percent less apt to report concern about their child's ability to learn, according to study presenter and lead researcher Dr. Katherine Hobbs Knutson from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

"Although correlations between breastfeeding and childhood cognition are well supported by research, our findings provide new evidence for a lesser understood issue of whether breastfeeding may also influence childhood emotional development," Knutson told Reuters Health.

"Our research is promising, indicating that human milk may be protective against childhood behavioral disorders," she concluded.

Megan Rauscher


p/s: YES! Amin is still breasfeeding exclusively.

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