Breast milk may be tremendously important to mother-baby bonding. New research shows that breast-feeding mothers are more likely than formula-feeding moms to bond with their infants, and also demonstrate stronger brain responses when they hear their baby cry.
Researchers divided a group of new mothers into breast-feeders and formula-feeders, and performed functional MRIs (fMRI) on them about a month after their babies were born. Although all the mothers' brains became more active when listening to their own baby's cry, the changes in the breast-feeding mothers' relevant brain regions were much greater.
Time Magazine reports:
“The study, which the researchers say is the first to link brain activity with maternal behavior, is likely to reinforce the convictions of breast-feeding mothers that they're doing right by their babies”.