Children who are breastfed for longer than six months could be at lower risk of mental health problems later in life, according to Australian research.
A study by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth looked at 2,366 children born to women enrolled in a pregnancy study in the state of Western Australia.
Each of the children underwent a mental health assessment when they were aged two, five, eight, 10, and 14.
The researchers found that breastfeeding could help babies cope better with stress and may signal a stronger mother-child attachment which could provide lasting benefits.
"Breastfeeding for a longer duration appears to have significant benefits for the onward mental health of the child into adolescence," researcher Dr. Wendy Oddy, who led the study, wrote in The Journal of Pediatrics.
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