09/10/2011 18:41 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Breastfed Babies Locate Mum's Breast By Smell

Baby breastfeeding PA

Researchers have found that newborn babies use their sense of smell to locate their mum's breasts and get milk.

A study in France discovered babies are guided to their food supply by the tiny glands on the breast which produce a fluid and smell that babies find irresistible.

Scientists found that women who had lots of glands had babies who fed more and grew more quickly.

Benoist Schaal, who led the research, said he hoped the findings could result in the scent being used to help premature babies who have been tube-fed to learn how to breastfeed. He wants to bottle the chemicals that produce the smell.

The scientists also learned that when mums started producing actual breast-milk (rather than the colostrum that comes in after birth), those who had more than nine of the glands on each breast started to produce milk sooner than those who had fewer glands, and their babies put on weight faster.

The researchers from the National Centre for Scientific Research in Dijon noted the effect particularly in first-time mums. They said they thought this was because first babies could be more reliant on nature to establish breastfeeding because their mothers are less experienced.

Wow! Interesting findings! What do you think?
Did you note your baby being led by its nose at feeding time?