Breastfeeding Linked To Stronger Maternal Response To Baby’s Cry

Mothers who feed their babies breast milk exclusively (meaning no formula) are more likely to bond emotionally with their child during the first few months after delivery, according to U.S. researchers.

A new study published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry used functional magnetic resonance to map the brain’s response while mothers were breastfeeding. The result? Nursing moms showed greater response to their infant’s cry in brain regions related to caregiving behavior and empathy than mothers who relied on formula as the baby’s main food source.

The findings offer yet another reason why breastfeeding is beneficial, though it is a slap in the face to moms who can’t or simply choose not to nurse their children (or to those countless mothers who supplement breast milk with formula).

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