Breastfeeding Soothes Baby, Mom; Douglas Hospital Research Shows - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-27-2005, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://newswire.ascribe.org/cgi-bin/...=2005&public=0

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"It has been well established that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants - it is beneficial to their physical and mental development," says Claire-Dominique Walker, Ph.D., senior investigator and director of the Neuroscience Research Division at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre. "Our work now shows that there is a reciprocal benefit of breastfeeding to the mothers - they react less to stressful situations. This means they will focus more on their children and have more energy for activities such as attending to their infants and producing milk - this is an obvious gain for the children."

Walker and her team, including Sonia J. Lupien, Ph.D., director of the Douglas Centre for Studies on Human Stress, and graduate student Mai Tu, studied the stress responses of 25 breastfeeding and 25 bottle-feeding mothers, having either one baby or several other children. The moms were exposed to different types of stressful situations ranging from those considered "emotional or relevant" - watching a video about hurt and lost children, to those considered "non-threatening or non-relevant" - such as public speaking and math problems. Stress was determined by measuring the levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in their saliva. The preliminary findings show that the breastfeeding moms had reduced levels of cortisol (indicating less stress) during the emotional and non-threatening stress situations. This effect also occurred in response to the relevant stressor, but it was even more pronounced in experienced breastfeeding mothers (i.e. mothers with several children). This indicates an added potential benefit of breastfeeding after repeated deliveries.

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Old 07-28-2005, 03:33 AM
 
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Interesting work and pretty cool to know how it works.

My response to the title though, was, "duh!" LOL

So you get calmer with each breastfed child. Will keep that in mind when stressing over whether to have another!
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Old 07-28-2005, 10:28 AM
 
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Although I agree- I'm usually critical of studies and this one has me wondering- was it the breastfeeding that produced calmer mothers... or did naturally calmer women gravitate toward mothering with breastfeeding?

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Old 07-28-2005, 12:31 PM
 
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I have managed to find the email for the lead investigator of this study, and I have emailed her. I understand she is a strong bf-supporter. I hope to get more details about this study, and will share them if I do.
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sarah
Although I agree- I'm usually critical of studies and this one has me wondering- was it the breastfeeding that produced calmer mothers... or did naturally calmer women gravitate toward mothering with breastfeeding?

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Good observation. In my own anecdotal experience, that's a fact Jack.
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