Outgoing Moms are More Likely to Breastfeed, Says Study

Photo: AU Women's Health Photo: AU Women's Health

Who said being too talkative was a bad thing? New research pinpoints extroverted moms as the ones most likely to breastfeed baby at birth — and continue to do so. The findings from the study, published online in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, shows that moms with certain personalities may need additional support and education to help them feel confident, self-assured and knowledgeable about breastfeeding before they’re able to be successful doing so.

Researchers led by Amy Brown of Swansea University in the UK, identified that moms that feel confident in themselves, are supported by their partner, friends and family members and know how to overcome problems are more likely to breastfeed their babies for longer. For their research, they surveyed 602 moms with babies between the ages of six- to twelve-months-old. They were asked to fill in a questionnaire that examined each moms’ personality, how long they breastfed for and also their attitudes and experiences while doing so.

Moms that admitted they were emotionally-stable extroverts said that they initiated and continued to breastfeed for a much longer duration than mothers who were introverted or anxious. The latter admitted that they were more likely to use formula for baby and that they only breastfed for a shorter period of time.

The findings, Dr. Brown feels, can only be explained by the link between moms’ personality and their attitude toward breastfeeding. Moms who were introverted, Brown says, felt more self-conscious about breastfeeding in front of others and were more likely to formula-feed baby because other people wanted them to. On the other hand, moms who were anxious about breastfeeding felt that it was more difficult than they had imagined and they couldn’t get the support they needed. Not surprisingly, lack of support and the initial difficulty of nursing are two factors known to reduce breastfeeding rates in women.

“The important message from the findings is that some mothers may face more challenges with breastfeeding based on their wider personality. Although they may want to breastfeed, more introverted or anxious mothers may need further support in boosting their confidence and learning about how to solve problems, and they may need encouragement to make sure they access the breastfeeding support services that are available,” she said.

Do you think that moms who are more outgoing have a better chance at breastfeeding?

Plus, more from The Bump:

Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Breastfeeding — but Should!

10 Biggest Health Benefits of Breastfeeding