A new study has found that a mom's personality traits play a big role in whether she breastfeeds her baby or gives the little cutie a bottle. Apparently, women who are extroverts have more of a propensity toward nursing, while women who are prone to anxiety are more likely to feed their child from a bottle.
While I think a million and one things go into a woman's decision to breastfeed -- and keep breastfeeding -- I'm not so sure "being an extrovert" plays a role. However, anxiety? Yes, definitely.
Most moms I know nursed their second (or third or fourth) children longer than their first. In fact, I know many women who nursed their first kids a little more than a few weeks, and breastfed their next well into toddlerhood. And I get this. Big time. My nursing experience wound up being nothing like I imagined. And I think -- actually, I know -- anxiety and general on edgeness from having a baby who cried a lot (and no help) had something to do with it. If I have another child, I'm fairly certain that things will be much, much different than they were with my first. In many aspects of parenting, not just with breastfeeding, I think I'd be a much more confident parent to a newborn if I had another -- because I've been there. And everything, including nursing, wouldn't come as such a shock.
I'm not so sure I fully buy the "extroverts are more likely to nurse" conclusion, as this hasn't been the experience in my life at all. I know many introverts who breastfeed their children and many outgoing people who do not. Perhaps extroverts are more likely to nurse in public, but I can't see the overall connection.
We all know there are a variety of things that go into a woman's decision to breastfeed or not, but it's interesting to see, in writing, that nervousness plays a role. It may, in some small way, give hope to women who didn't successfully breastfeed their first child to do so with their next.
Did you have different nursing experiences with your children?
Image via Maja/Flickr