Duration of breastfeeding and baby’s initiative to communicate with mother in refugee and displaced population

Breastfeeding as an aspect of communication between mother and her baby was surveyed in 477 refugee/displaced mothers. Duration of breastfeeding was correlated with the child’s initiative to establish eye contact, spontaneously smile, touch and initiate play with its mother. The specific influence of the mother’s depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the duration of breastfeeding and early communication was also studied. The consistency of the correlation with breastfeeding for all monitored parameters (longer breastfeeding is followed by more child initiative) allows us to conclude that breastfeeding is an important factor in mother – infant communication. It is not possible to establish causal relation between breastfeeding and communication initiative by infants as shorter breastfeeding might be a sign of overall lack of responsiveness and other emotional problems in the mother that jointly reduce the level of signal interchange. Mothers with PTSD and depression breastfeed their babies longer than mothers without those symptoms.

Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 54, No 2, april - june 2010
Authors: M. Jovančević, M. Knežević, Z. Konjarik, S. Knežević
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