New research conducted at Swansea University (UK) and published in the “Journal of Advanced Nursing” claims that mums with a certain personality type are more likely to breastfeed – and it’s a confidence thing.
The study in question examined the mothers’ personalities, how long they breastfed, and their attitudes and experiences of breastfeeding.
Mums with extroverted personalities were more likely to initiate and breastfeed for longer than mums with introverted personalities, typically more anxiety prone, who were more likely to use formula and breastfeed for a shorter period.
The study draws a pretty logical conclusion: extroverted temperaments are usually assertive, less sensitive to stress and confident – characteristics that assist breastfeeding, which requires a relaxed mum who is willing to persevere until getting it right. Introverted personalities are usually more sensitive to stress, are often anxiety prone and more self-conscious – so breastfeeding might cause excessive worry and tension causing introverted mums to abandon it altogether.
Of course, the terms ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ are quite ‘boxy.’ In other words; don’t think that because you’ve been told you’re introvert (or because you know that you are) that you you’re less likely to succeed with breastfeeding. Put a positive spin on the stats: if you know that you are prone to anxiety, just remember that breastfeeding is a trial and error process and it takes all mums a good few tries to get it right!
Some mums find breastfeeding more difficult than others – such is life. But you’re definitely not alone. And don’t feel bad doing what is going to keep you, and consequently your baby, sane and happy.