May 25, 2013 | 10:55 AM (BD Time)
25 May, 2013 Saturday
Breastfed babies ‘are more cranky and cry more’
New mums should be advised that it is normal for their baby to cry more if they are breastfed, say experts. The Medical Research Council team says this irritability is natural, and although formula-fed babies may appear more content and be easier to pacify, breast is still best. If parents have more rea listic expectations more may stick with breastfeeding, they hope. Most UK mums try to breastfeed. Within months the rate drops to a third. The Department of Health recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months after birth.
The most common reason given for women to stop breastfeeding is that "Breast milk alone didn't satisfy my baby", which the MRC scientists say reflects their perception of irritability as a negative signal. But they say this crankiness in babies is normal and just their natural way of communicating their needs to their mother and is no cause for alarm. For example, some cries will be down to tiredness not hunger. And the reason formula babies are so serene could well be because they are overfed. Lead investigator Dr Ken Ong said: "Bottle-fed babies may appear more content, but research suggests that these infants may be overnourished and gain weight too quickly. "Our findings are essentially similar to other stages of life; people often find that eating is comforting."
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