Cry breast

Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing to do for your baby if you can. The World Health Organisation suggests that all babies should be breastfed until at least six months of age. Certainly even the best formula can never match the uniquely balanced nutritional benefits that breast milk offers and the bonding that occurs between mother and child during a breast feed. There is a downside though that has been confirmed in a new study; breastfed babies cry more.

Researchers from the Medical Research Council at Cambridge University, UK, studied a group of mothers and compared breastfed to bottle-fed babies via a series of surveys. The survey showed that while 75 per cent of mothers begin by breastfeeding their babies, that figure drops 33 per cent by the time the baby is four months old. The most common reason that they gave for this was “breast milk did not satisfy my baby”. They interpreted this from the fact that their baby cried frequently and the survey did show that breastfed babies do cry more than bottle fed bubs. However, don’t let that put you off the breast.

The researchers point out that bottle-fed babies may appear to be more content but that research suggests that these infants may be over-nourished and gain weight too quickly. As far as the crying goes the researchers say that the biggest problem new parents face is unrealistic expectations as to how much a baby should sleep and how much, or little, they should cry.

It just goes to show that the old adage is true; you shouldn’t throw out the breast-fed baby with the tear water.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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