Mother's Milk Is Honey to Young Infants

Mother-child bond said to boost long-term psychological well-being

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(HealthDayNews) -- Aside from the physical benefits of breastfeeding, the mother-child bond it establishes can be of critical importance to an infant's long-term psychological well-being, according to a leading expert on breastfeeding and the law.

Elizabeth N. Baldwin, JD, writing for New Beginnings with husband and law partner Kenneth A. Friedman, says, "It is not until the second six months of life that the baby even recognizes that he is a separate person from the mother; The more responsive a mother is, the more secure the attachment."

Baldwin, a legal advisor to La Leche League International, says research indicates that children who do better later in life are the ones who had secure attachments in their early years.

Successful breastfeeding, she continues, "requires the mother to be responsive to the baby's hunger, sleeping, and crying signals. Babies self-regulate their feeding at the breast and breast milk is very different from formula. Mothers must be careful not to overfeed a baby formula; this is rarely a problem with breastfed babies."

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