Thursday January 23, 2020

Breastfeeding Longer may Improve Mothers’ Sensitivity

However, the study is not intended to diminish the bonding experiences of women who are not able to breastfeed

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Breastfeeding
How breastfeeding is linked to being a righty or lefty. Pixabay

Women breastfeeding their children for longer periods exhibit more maternal sensitivity well past the infant and toddler years, according to a study.

Maternal sensitivity was defined as the synchronous timing of a mother’s responsiveness to her child, her emotional tone, her flexibility in her behaviour and her ability to read her child’s cues.

“It was surprising to us that breastfeeding duration predicted change over time in maternal sensitivity,” said lead author Jennifer Weaver, from the Boise State University in Idaho.

“We had prior research suggesting a link between breastfeeding and early maternal sensitivity, but nothing to indicate that we would continue to see effects of breastfeeding significantly beyond the period when breastfeeding had ended.”

Further, even though increased breastfeeding duration led to greater maternal sensitivity over time, the effect sizes were small.

Breastfeeding
A mother breastfeeding her child. Pixabay

That means the close interaction experienced during breastfeeding may be only one of many ways the bond is strengthened between mother and child, according to the study, published in the journal Developmental Psychology.

Conversely, there was no correlation between the mother’s breastfeeding length and father’s sensitivity toward their children.

For the study, the team analysed data from interviews with 1,272 families, when their infants were a month old, and followed them periodically until the children turned 11.

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However, the study is not intended to diminish the bonding experiences of women who are not able to breastfeed, Weaver said.

“Ultimately, I do hope that we will see breastfeeding examined more closely as a parenting factor, not just as a health consideration, to allow us to more fully understand the role that breastfeeding plays in family life,” Weaver noted. (Bollywood Country)

Next Story

Mothers Find Gaps in Accessibility of Breastfeeding Resources at Work: Research

Mothers still face barriers to breastfeed at work

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breastfeeding
The study, published in the journal Workplace Health & Safety also revealed gaps in the quality and accessibility of breastfeeding resources in the eyes of working mothers. Pixabay

Despite the protections in place to support breastfeeding for employees, the burden still falls on working mothers to advocate for the resources they need, says a new health research.

The study, published in the journal Workplace Health & Safety also revealed gaps in the quality and accessibility of breastfeeding resources in the eyes of working mothers.

“We know that there are benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and the infant, and we know that returning to work is a significant challenge for breastfeeding continuation,” said study lead author Rachel McCardel from University of Georgia in US.

“There is a collective experience that we wanted to explore and learn how can we make this better,” McCardel added.

breastfeeding
Returning to work is a significant challenge for breastfeeding continuation. Pixabay

For the findings, research team specifically wanted to better understand breastfeed support in the workplace since US federal guidelines went into place over a decade ago requiring employers to provide unpaid break time and a space other than a restroom for employees to be able to express breast milk.

For their study, the research team surveyed female employees who performed a variety of jobs.

In addition to asking questions about their access to breast feed resources like private rooms, breast pumps and lactation consultants, the respondents were also asked about their experiences with combining breastfeeding and work.

They found that most respondents, nearly 80 per cent, had a private space at work to express milk, and around two-thirds of the women reported having break times to breastfeed.

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Access to other resources like lactation consultants or breast pumps was less common.

According to the study, many respondents also said they hadn’t expected to get much help from their employers, and there was a general lack of communication about the resources available to them. (IANS)