Does breastfeeding make you more defensive?

September 13, 2011 12:00 AM by

Every mom wants to protect her children, but do breastfeeding moms feel even more of a drive to ward off danger? A new study suggests that new moms who are breastfeeding their infants are twice as aggressive as non-breastfeeding mothers when confronted by a threat.

Acccording to MSNBC's The Body Odd, nursing mothers are more aggressive than bottle-feeding mothers when it comes to keeping their babies safe from harm – real or imagined. The study suggests that lactation, and not just motherhood, plays a role in the natural maternal defense instinct.

"Maternal defense does not involve nursing mothers going out and looking for bar fights, but when they have a helpless baby, they’re more likely to defend themselves when the fight comes to them," Jennifer Hahn-Holbrook, a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA’s Department of Health Psychology, explained to the source.

Although breast-feeding offers a number of benefits to newborns and infants, including health and development, some studies have pointed to the fact that bottle-fed babies are just as healthy as their counterparts.

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