I read about a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics that suggests breastfed babies make psychologically healthier teens. To my mind, it's sweeping statements like this one that pose a real danger to mothers and teens everywhere.
The researchers, in Australia, studied about 3000 women and tracked their babies to early adolescence. Some women breastfed ( for varying amounts of time) and others didn't breastfeed at all. According to the researchers they found thaat for every additional month a child was breastfed, the behavior in teens improved.
The lead researcher acknowledged that societal pressures -- like having to work, or workplaces making it difficult for women who want to pump -- make it harder for women to breastfeed. He added we have to do better in supporting women who want to breastfeed.
All true. We do need to do more. But there are many reasons why women might not breastfeed and there are many reasons for teens with emotional and psychological problems. A child may have been bullied in middle or high school. Or, perhaps there are family dynamics that cause issues. Chalking it up to breastfeeding or lack thereof is dangerous.
It places undue guilt on mothers who decide not to. That's not psychologically healthy for the mother, which in turn, has an impact on the child.
So let's please be careful about sweeping assumptions.