Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Women who do not breastfeed their infants are nearly four times more likely to neglect and abuse their child, a study of Australian women has found.

breastfeed, neglect, abuse

The analysis of about 6000 Queensland mothers and their children also discovered that the longer a woman breastfeeds, the less likely she is to neglect or abuse her child.

Researchers from the University of Queensland found that of the 1421 women who did not breastfeed their children in the group, 102 women - or 7.2 per cent - neglected or abused their child in some way. This compared with 4.8 per cent of the 2584 women who breastfed for less than four months and 1.6 per cent of the 2616 women who breastfed for more than four months.

Maltreatment included neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual assault. Neglect was the most common form identified in the study, but the prevalence of all types increased as the duration of breastfeeding decreased. Other variables found to increase the likelihood of maltreatment were unmarried status, low education, smoking and binge-drinking during pregnancy and symptoms of prenatal anxiety.

Lane Strathearn, author of the research due to be published in the journal Pediatrics next month, said the promotion of breastfeeding could be a simple and cost-effective way of strengthening the relationship between mothers and babies to prevent child neglect and abuse.

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RD said...

I truly believe that this is true!

Euripides said...

In all likelihood, the length of time a mother spends breastfeeding isn't a cause to prevent child abuse or neglect. It is more likely to be indicative of a mother who wouldn't abuse or neglect a child in the first place. I'm wondering how the researchers came up with the cause and effect conclusion?

Secular Heretic said...

Yes perhaps it is the other way around. Women who don't abuse their kids are more likely to breast feed.
Although I think the researchers are possibly right. I've read elsewhere that when mothers breastfeed, a hormone is released which is a bonding agent. It blinds the mother to any faults the child has and exaggerates the positives. This also happens during intercourse.

RD said...

Good answer S.Heretic:)

Francis Medela Pumps said...

None sense. I don't believe this. Making the decision to breastfeed is a very personal one. Some choose to use pumps to extract milk from their breast then feed them to their babies. Some has reasons not to breastfeed due to nipple problems. does that make you not a better mother, and neglect your child?

Anonymous said...

my sister breastfed her daughter until she was nearly three years old. in many ways my sister has emotionally neglected my niece. my niece, now almost four, is a little naughty like all kids her age. however her punishment is totally dispoportionate to the misbehaviour. ie. slapping, name calling and threatening. i breastfeed my son and i am not like this. so i think it all depends on the mother's character whether she will neglect her child and not up to whether she is nursing or bottle feeding. although women who point blank refuse to even try nurse their newborn surely must have pschological problems?