Well­ness Arti­cles

Breast Feed­ing Linked to Resilience Against Psy­choso­cial Stress in Chil­dren

Chil­dren who are breast fed cope bet­ter with stress such as the divorce of their par­ents. This accord­ing to a study pub­lished in the August 2006 issue of the Archives of Dis­ease in Child­hood. This study goes beyond the phys­i­cal ben­e­fits of breast feed­ing and shows that breast feed­ing also helps a child deal with stress later in their childhood.

The study was con­ducted by look­ing at infor­ma­tion col­lected at birth and at ages 5 and 10 years for 8958 sub­jects born in one week in 1970 and liv­ing in Great Britain. The researchers asked the teach­ers of these chil­dren ques­tions and used a sci­en­tific method to mea­sure the children’s responses to stress based on their teach­ers’ observations.

Of the total num­ber of 8958 chil­dren, 5672 were not breast fed. The researchers then looked at the total pop­u­la­tion of these chil­dren and noted those whose par­ents had got­ten sep­a­rated or divorced. They then cal­cu­lated the stress response in those who were ini­tially breast fed against those who were not breast fed.

The results showed that those chil­dren who had been breast fed, and who had gone through the stress of hav­ing their par­ents break-​up showed more resilience in that sit­u­a­tion. Researchers were able to deter­mine that breast fed chil­dren showed a 7% reduc­tion in anx­i­ety over those that were not breast fed.

The research was also reported on Novem­ber 28, 2006 in Med­scape Med­ical News. In that report study author, S. M. Mont­gomery, MD, of the Karolin­ska Insti­tutet in Stock­holm, Swe­den, stated, “The ben­e­fits of breast feed­ing are well rec­og­nized, and this study indi­cates that it may be asso­ci­ated with lower lev­els of anx­i­ety among chil­dren who have had the poten­tially stress­ful expe­ri­ence of parental divorce,” the authors fur­ther con­cluded. “Research into the medi­at­ing fac­tors under­ly­ing the resilience indi­cated by breast feed­ing should focus on expo­sures and asso­ci­a­tions related to early rather than pro­longed breast feeding.”

Ran­dom Article

From a March 13, 2006, Reuters Health release comes a report that chil­dren who are given antibi­otics early in life increase their chance

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