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Breastfeeding ability governed by hormones: Study

Last Updated: Friday, January 8, 2010 - 00:00

London: New mothers who find it hard to
breastfeed their babies, have no need to feel guilty -- as a
Norwegian study found that difficulty in feeding a newborn can
be due to the higher levels of male hormone in womb during
pregnancy.

After reviewing all the available evidence, researchers
from Norwegian University of Science and Technology said,
mothers who find breastfeeding so hard should not feel guilty.

They said the difficulty in feeding a newborn may be
because of the higher levels of the male hormone testosterone
in womb during pregnancy.

"Basically a mother who finds she has difficulty
shouldn`t feel guilty - it probably is just the way it is, and
her baby will not suffer for being fed formula milk," the BBC
has quoted lead researcher Prof Sven Carlsen as saying.

"A mother should do what makes her happy," he said.

He argued that it is the hormone balance in the womb
which explains both a mother`s ability to breastfeed and any
apparent health benefits of a baby who is breastfed - rather
than the breast milk itself.

Last year Prof Carlsen`s team reviewed 50 international
studies on the relationship between breastfeeding and health.

In the study, published in journal Acta Obstetricia and
Gynacologica Scandinavica, the researchers followed 180
pregnant women.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 - 00:00

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