Does breastfeeding make you more defensive?

September 13, 2011 by

Does breastfeeding make you more defensive?

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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