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21 April 2011

Breastfeeding mom shows stronger response to baby's cry

Breastfeeding mothers showed greater responses to their infant's cry in brain regions related to caregiving behaviour and empathy than mothers who fed their babies formula.

A new study from the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry finds that mothers who feed their babies breast milk exclusively, as opposed to formula, are more likely to bond emotionally with their child during the first few months after delivery. The breastfeeding mothers surveyed for the study showed greater responses to their infant's cry in brain regions related to caregiving behaviour and empathy than mothers who relied upon formula as the baby's main food source. This is the first paper to examine the underlying neurobiological mechanisms as a function of breastfeeding, and to connect brain activity with maternal behaviours among human mothers.

 
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