Study Links Breast Feeding With Improved Behaviour in Children

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12th May 2011 16:37 - Health

Breast fed children are less inclined to grow up with behavioural problems compared to those who are given formula milk, a new survey of children born in the UK during the 2000-2001 period has shown.

Research teams based at Oxford, Essex and York universities surveyed over 10,000 pairs of mother and child who had taken part in the Millennium Cohort Study.

The survey results, which were published today in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, found that 16% of formula-fed children were showing signs of adverse behaviour by the age of five, with just 6% of those breastfed to full term.

Even when other factors such as socio-economic or parental intervention were taken into account, researchers found that formula fed children were more likely to exhibit emotional problems, hyperactivity and be prone to other problems such as lying and stealing.

Emma Pearce, a breastfeeding councillor with the National Childbirth Trust parenting charity, commented: “Breastfeeding is a commitment to your child and is actually a very good parenting tool, because it is easy to be responsive to your baby when they are breast-feeding... It is a way of nurturing your baby, building a bond with them and telling them that the world is an OK place because mummy’s here.”

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