Women who fed their babies naturally were almost two-thirds less likely to suffer from mental health problems.

And the more children the greater was the effect, an international study found.

The joint American and Korean study looked at mothers now in their 50s and older, who had gone through the menopause.

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusively breastfeeding during the first six months of the baby’s life, but only a third of British mothers try it at all, and the figures are falling. 

Reduced government support, cuts in public health funding, and negative attitudes have been blamed for some of the worst breastfeeding rates in the world. 

Reduced government support, cuts in public health funding, and negative attitude have been blamed for some of the worst breastfeeding rates in the world.

And the study supports mother who controversially breastfeed their children up to schoolage and beyond.

Yesterday lead author Dr Sangshin Patk of Brown University, America, said: ‘Our study findings indicate that breastfeeding is beneficial, not only to infants’ short-term and long-term health, but also to maternal psychological health.

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