Breastfeeding researcher, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, shares the connection between breastfeeding and child abuse/neglect. The study she cites appeared in Pediatrics in 2009 and included 7,000 mother-infant pairs that were studied over a 15 year period. Read the study here.
The study looked at maternal perpetrated child maltreatment, meaning the mother was committing the abuse or neglect. The study found that those mothers who breastfed were significantly less likely to abuse or neglect their children. The study also found that longer a mother-infant pair nursed decreased the risk of child abuse/neglect. Compared to mothers who breastfed for more than four months, the mothers who did not breastfeed at all were FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY to neglect their child.
“And these are substantiated cases by child protective services,” says Kendall-Tackett in the video interview above. “Breastfeeding promotes the mother-infant bond and down regulates hostility so that mothers are able to cope with things. I think it is an important finding because it is a big study, it is well done and they controlled for a lot of variables.”
Read More World Breastfeeding Month Articles:
10 (Mildly Shallow) Reasons to Breastfeed, by Scary Mommy