Breastfed kids are well-behaved?

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In a study researchers used a "strengths and difficulties" questionnaire completed by parents about their children and found that abnormal scores were less common in children who were breastfed for at least four months.

Maria Quigley, who led the work, said the findings "provide even more evidence for the benefits of breastfeeding."

"Mothers who want to breastfeed should be given all the support they need. Many women struggle to breastfeed for as long as they might otherwise like, and many don't receive the support that might make a difference," she said.

Some benefits of breastfeeding are already well known, for example breastfed babies have lower rates of infections, and mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

A range of other health and child development benefits have also been suggested, such as fewer behavioural problems and lower levels of obesity, but researchers said evidence for these has been inconsistent across different studies.

In this study researchers used a nationwide British survey of babies born in 2000-2001, it included data for more than 9,500 mothers and babies born at full term to families of white ethnic background.

They used data on whether mothers had breastfed and how long for and combined these with the results of the "strengths and difficulties" questionnaire used for identifying children with possible behavioural problems.

They found abnormal scores for the questionnaires, which indicate potential behavioural problems, were less common in children breastfed for at least four months at 6% than in formula fed children at 16%.

The researchers said that the results might be explained by the fact that breastfeeding leads to more interaction between mother and child and better learning of acceptable behaviours.

Did you breastfeed your kids? How is their behaviour?

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