Love to breastfeed you little one? Check out your personality traits – are you an extrovert? Study confirms that mommies who are less anxious and possess an extrovert nature show more tendency of breast feeding their little ones for a longer time than the mothers who have an anxious and introverted disposition.
Researchers Swansea University in the United Kingdom have concluded that new mothers showing personality traits like anxiety will decide whether the mother will breast feed her baby or give the child the milk bottle.
The researchers further stated that women with these personality characteristics need extra education and additional support to feel self-assured, self-confident, and understand the values of breast feeding.
Feeding a child on mother’s milk helps the baby build up defenses against medical conditions like skin allergies, respiratory troubles, obesity etc. Data shows that nearly two thirds of the mothers who have given birth to their young breast feed their babies till the first few weeks after they are born. These figures are pertaining to the US and the UK, say the researchers.
Dr. Amy Brown, at present studying early nutrition at Swansea University in Wales, decided to investigate this and carried out a survey on a sample of 602 mothers who had infants aged 6 to 12 months. The women in the sample study fell in the age groups spaced out from 16-45 years.
Dr. Brown also kept their status, income, personal and professional achievements, education levels in mind as the survey was done. She handed out questionnaires that had questions based on the women’s personalities, their attitude towards breast feeding, rate of breast feeding, experiences of the activity and other similar related questions.
Results of survey
Results collected by Brown showed that women who were extroverts, emotionally stable, and conscientious, opted out for breastfeeding. They breast fed their babies and continued this for a longer time whereas the introvert mothers breast fed their babies for a shorter duration and started to depend more on the formula milk.
The introvert new mothers felt shy and embarrassed to breast feed their child in public view and switched over to formula milk because the other people wanted them to do so.
The surprising thing is that considering the relaxed Britain Law for pregnancy and maternity where the new mothers can avail 39 weeks paid leave and feed the child in public according to the 2010 Equality Act, it is definitely not the work that prohibits the women from breast feeding.
So maybe like Dr. Brown says, “It’s kind of a formula-feeding culture, in that everyone knows someone who was formula-fed.” The granny’s need to feed baby, or another family members desire to hold the baby, the age old formula milk advice and other social pressures, may be influencing the decision of these introvert ladies , fear the researchers.