Breastfeeding linked to better mental health in kids

January 14, 2010 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding linked to better mental health in kids
Study findings from Australian researchers have found that kids who are breastfed for more than six months are less likely to develop mental health problems later in life, including depression and aggression, compared to kids who are breastfed for less than six months.

In the study researchers from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research studied over 2300 children born to mothers enrolled in the Western Australia Pregnancy Cohort Study.  When they were 2,5,8,10 and 14 years old, each of the children underwent a mental health assessment.

At each time interval researchers found that the children who were breastfed for the least amount of time when they were infants displayed overall worse behaviour.  Breastfeeding for six months or more was positively associated with better mental health and well being of children – even after adjusting for psychological, social and economic variables.  

In fact, researchers found for each additional month a child was breastfed, behaviour improved.

These latest research findings were published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Looking for more information on nutrition before, during and after pregnancy?  Check out Leslie Beck’s Nutrition Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy here.

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