Moms’ Personality Quirks Can Predict Whether They’ll Give Baby Bottle or Breast

breastfeedingA 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

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nonmember avatar MammaMel

DISAGREE!!! I have very bad anxiety (diagnosed/on meds/panic attacks)not what non-suffers THINK is anxiety (akin to how people with true depression get annoyed when people say they are depressed)...and I breastfed for 2 years.....

lulou lulou


With my first ponchos were in style, which made public nursing simpler, as my number 1 reason not to publicly nurse would be frumpy nursing shirts (you have to wear that the whole time, not just when nursing)  However, I would often be far more appresensive of showing my post-pregnancy tummy versus other skin, so public nursing in summer versus other months could also be an inhibitor.  I used more of those "built in bra" shelf tops and pulled the strap down - yeah - I know thats not really a bra.  And liking good bras, appreciate the $1200 or so you save from not formula feeding, can get you some nice ones.  


Now, as to those cover discussions, knowing more after 3 kids, I would be more freaked out about rebreathing the carbon dioxide, increasing that level in the baby and SIDS.    


littl... littlebeanmom

I guess I don't see the connection.  Being shy means you won't like breastfeeding?  The anxiety makes more sense.  It's stressful during the first few weeks and later on when you have to pump at work. The extroversion/introversion thing seems weird.

Shaina Smith

I am more anxiety prone and more of an introvert, but I chose to breastfeed my child until she was 9 months old. I would have continued had my doctor not put me on anticonvulsants. So I'm not sure how I feel about this whole "extrovert vs. introvert" idea.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

Bull. I'm an introvert in every sense of the word with relatively severe anxiety. Sure personality and lifestyle play a roll, hello don't they in every decision?! But if your going by personality only, I chose it because its pushing the envelope and I like a challenge. Life style wise, because its natural. But overall because its best for everyone involved. These studies are just silly. But anything that talks about breastfeeding is good in my book, I hope someday it's seen as the natural and normal choice with bottle feeding being perfectly acceptable, just not the go-to choice.

nonmember avatar SANDY

makes sense i have extreme anxiety and i bottle fed... yea i see the connection with that

nonmember avatar blue

Can we stop talking about this, and start worrying about the kids who are going hungry in this country? I hate the breast and bottle crap. It's so stupid. There are so many more important things to care about. Is your kid fed? GREAT!! Let's start a debate about how to get all the others fed.

doodledo doodledo

I am an introvert with anxiety and I nursed my son for three years.

nonmember avatar Omm2l

I think this is BS. I have anxiety/panic disorder and am an introvert and a have high needs daughter. She is still nursing 3 weeks away from being 3 with no signs of stopping.

Jacqueline D'Vonna Luebben

I am extremely introverted and have an anxiety disorder. I nursed my son until he was almost 3 and a half. 

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