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01 September 2011

Nursing moms more fierce

Women who breastfeed are more likely to demonstrate a "mama bear" effect - aggressively protecting their infants and themselves - than women who bottle-feed their babies.

Women who breastfeed are far more likely to demonstrate a "mama bear" effect — aggressively protecting their infants and themselves — than women who bottle-feed their babies or non-mothers, according to a new study in Psychological Science.

"Breast-feeding has many benefits for a baby's health and immunity, but it seems to also have a little-known benefit for the mother," said Jennifer Hahn-Holbrook, a postdoctoral fellow in the UCLA Department of Psychology and the study's lead author. "It may be providing mothers with a buffer against the many stressors new moms face, while at the same time giving mothers an extra burst of courage if they need to defend themselves or their child."

 
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