Breastfeeding mothers and the mama bear effect: new study in Psychological Science

A new study published in the  September issue of the journal Psychological Science, tested whether human mothers who lactate react in similar ways to other lactacting mammals — that is that they can be more aggressive in protecting their offspring.  Three cohorts were tested– breastfeeding mothers, mothers who formula feed and women who are not mothers.  Breastfeeding mothers were the most aggressive (the agression was not to protect their infants per se but the researchers posit that the increased aggressiveness serves a biological purpose to protect offspring in the event that they are threatened)  In addition , breastfeeding mothers also had the lowest blood pressures…  So there is a biological basis for the mother bear instinct after all! And breastfeeding not only is protective and beneficial for babies but has added health benefits for mom!

For more information about the study, go to


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