Breastfed kids less likely to have behavioral disorders

Mother’s breastfeeding could have a constructive influence on behavior, in early childhood, according to results of a study presented Wednesday at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in San Diego.

In the study, parents of 1 to 5 year old children, who were breastfed as infants were 15 percent less likely to report concern for the child’s behavior than those parents, who were not breastfed.

In addition, breastfed children have 37 percent less chances to have doctor-diagnosed behavior or mental disorders or to have received mental health care.

The results based on more than 100,000 interviews with parents or guardians on the health of their children conducted as part of the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health — also push studies that have showed breastfeeding enhances intellectual ability in children.

Specially, parents of breastfed children were 23 percent less apt to report concern about their child’s learning ability, according to study lead researcher Dr. Katherine Hobbs Knutson from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

“Although correlations between breastfeeding and childhood cognition are well supported by research, our findings provide new evidence for a lesser understood issue of whether breastfeeding may also influence childhood emotional development,” Knutson said.

“Our research is promising, indicating that human milk may be protective against childhood behavioral disorders,” she concluded.

Breastfed kids less likely to have behavioral disorders
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