The study of 1,136 mothers reading a story book to their one-year-old found that breastfeeding for six months was assiciated with parents that continue positive parenting skills beyond infancy.
The UK has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in Europe. Many mothers give up early on because of lack of support or they have to return to the work force. Fewer than eight in ten mothers breastfeed from birth. Only one fifth of have continued to feed their babies breast milk six months later.
Researchers at the Institute of Education in London recommend that more is done for mothers of infants so that they can breastfeed their young, including if necessary helping them with money so they can delay returning to work until their children are a little older.
The Telegraph reports:
Dr Leslie Gutman, who led the research, said: “Breastfeeding is a time-consuming activity and mothers can be tempted to put their babies on the bottle earlier if they feel they have to return to work for financial reasons.
“Mothers are given information leaflets in hospitals about breastfeeding but we may need more than this. Another option is workplace nurseries where mothers could go and feed their babies during the day.”
Breastfeeding has proven to be the best nourishment for infants. Studies have shown that breastfed children are less prone to obesity, have fewer allergies and respiratory illnesses and have higher IQ.
The study showed that the mothers who most benefited from breastfeeding were low income mothers. Those mothers had a higher quality of interaction with their children even five years later.
It appears that martial status though doesn’t change the quality of mother interaction with children. If anything single mothers who breastfeed seemed to make more of an effort to connect with their kids.
The Daily Mail reports that Gutman’s study also shows that strict parents have more ‘competent’ children. This is very important when raising girls. Those who lack confidence tend to turn to drugs according to the left-wing London’s Institute of Education.
‘Multiple studies have documented that children who have authoritative parents – that is, both firm disciplinarians and warm, receptive caregivers – are more competent than their peers at developmental periods, including pre-school, school age and adolescence,’ said the report.