New Study Shows that Babies who were Breastfed Longer are Smarter
A recent Harvard study, showed that young children who were breastfed as newborns scored higher on IQ tests than children who were formula-fed. The longer and more exclusively they were breastfed, the greater the difference in scoring.
Research analyzed 1,312 expectant moms between 1999 and 2002, the study done in eastern Massachusetts, examined pregnancy, child health and the children who were delivered. The research showed that 7-year-olds who had been breastfed and formula fed during the first six months of life, gained more than a third of a point in verbal IQ for each month they were breastfed compared to children who were never breastfed. This means a difference of 4.2 verbal IQ points are gained for very 12 months of breastfeeding.
Children whose mothers exclusively breastfed them for the first six months of life gained an increase of four-fifths of a verbal IQ point each month they were breastfed. That means they gained 4.8 IQ points in just 6 months. It should be noted that researchers have deducted that the data proves an association between IQ and breastfed babies but it is not cause and effect.
Overall, this is great news and positive reinforcement for those of us who breastfed; exclusively or mixed with formula. We all have known for years that breastfeeding is best for a myriad of reasons. The La Leche league has told us, the Mayor of New York has told us, our mothers have told us and so has any stranger who could corner us with our newborn. So, it is nice to know that not only is it good for immunity’s sake, but by breastfeeding we get smarter kids. I mean all I need to be told now is that it will make them prettier and I might even consider getting pregnant again just to test out the theory.
Only there is one small problem to this theory, there are people that I know for a fact were formula-fed and they have high IQ scores; really high IQ’s…maybe these high IQ’s from being fed formula in the 1970’s proves that we are all over-analyzing every facet of childbirth and child rearing today and that really, neither has any effect on intelligence.
Only there is one small problem to this theory, there are people that I know for a fact were formula-fed and they have high IQ scores; really high IQ’s in the 140’s. According to this theory, a person with a 147 IQ would actually score in the 150’s had their mother breastfed rather than bottle-fed. Then again, maybe these high IQ’s from being fed formula in the 1970’s proves that we are all over-analyzing every facet of childbirth and child rearing today and that really, neither has any effect on intelligence.
I believe that breast milk is nature’s natural food for babies; it’s therefore easier to digest. Of course, some of us can’t breastfeed for whatever reason or we have to supplement or maybe our schedule just won’t allow it. We don’t need any more cause for mommy guilt. There is plenty to go around. I firmly believe that intelligence has more to do with genetics and nurturing than what a child eats as a baby. Still, I did breastfeed, just in case.
Between the constantly changing recommendations and rules and regulations for pregnancy and raising children, it’s a wonder we don’t all go. What do you think? Do you think breastfeeding makes your kid smarter?