Food and Behaviour Research

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8 July 2013 - Daily Mail - Do new mums REALLY need a £99 test on the quality of their breast milk? University offers to report levels of omega 3

By John Naish

Breastfeeding will not only provide your baby with all the nutrients it needs, but could also boost their social mobility, as reported recently in the British Medical Journal.

A study of over 30,000 people found that breastfed children are 24 per cent more likely to be climb the social ladder when they are adults, and 20 per cent less likely to slide downwards.

The researchers said the benefits come from the unique nutritional benefits from the mother's milk, as well as the skin-to-skin contact and associated bonding that infant and mother enjoy during breastfeeding.

So far, so good for the message that says 'breast is best'.

But academics at Stirling University are warning that some mothers' milk may hinder babies' chances of growing thriving brains, because the mothers' diets are nutritionally deficient.

The experts say the breast milk may be low in omega 3 fatty acid (found in oily fish such as mackerel and salmon), which is crucial for babies' mental development. Women with healthy diets should normally have sufficient omega 3 both for themselves and their children, if they eat oily fish at least twice a week.