Sunday, July 3, 2011

Breastfeeding and the Brain

fMRI studies at Yale University have pointed to a connection between breast feeding and bonding between mother and child. This, in turn, may have implications for increased maternal sensitivity as infants enter their social world. Brain imaging of breastfeeding mothers showed there was greater activations in the superior frontal gyrus, insula, precuneus, striatum, and amygdala while the women listened to their own baby-cry (as compared to formula-feeding mothers). And at 3-4 months post partum, greater activations in the right superior frontal gyrus and amygdala were associated with higher maternal sensitivity. In the past, breastfeeding was associated with benefits to the infant. These studies suggest that some of those benefits may be due to changes in the maternal brain. Were you a breast-fed baby?


No comments: