Breastfeeding Benefits for Your Infant:
Hey! This is world breastfeeding week!!! Nursing – breastfeeding – is known to provide your infant with a boost to their immunity. Infants who are nursed with good-ole mother’s milk have fewer ear infections, and lower risk of asthma later in life. But does breastfeeding make your child smarter?!? A study just published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that nursing your infant does make them smarter! Certainly that’s something that we all want for our children – to be smarter than we were.
Breastfeeding Benefits: Reduce Otitis Media
Infants who are nursed exclusively – without being supplemented with artificial formula – cut their rate of ear infections about 50%!!
Breastfeeding Benefits: Smarter Children – The Study
The authors, at Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital, examined the relationship between breastfeeding duration – how long an infant is nursed – with their later “cognition” at ages 3 and 7 years. As their measure of cognitive development, they assessed language development, visual motor abilities, memory and intelligence. The study included over 1,300 mothers and children.
The authors concluded that the length of time an infant is breastfed correlates with later IQ.
Take a look at their figure:
After adjusting for differences in “sociodemographics,” maternal intelligence, and home environment, (in addition to other factors like gender, age, fetal growth, gestational age, parity, smoking status, and many other factors), data showed a correlation between IQ and length of time an infant is nursed.
Just one more reason to nurse your little one!
(and finally, guys: hug a breast today)
- World Breastfeeding Week: August 1-7: http://piganddac.blogspot.com/2013/08/world-breastfeeding-week-many-benefits.html
- Read more at The Big Latchon: http://biglatchon.org/
- Become a milk-maven: http://www.fitpregnancy.com/motherhood/breastfeeding/11-breastfeeding-basics-become-milk-maven
- Belfort, et al. Infant Feeding and Childhood Cognition at Ages 3 and 7 Years: Effects of Breastfeeding Duration and Exclusivity. JAMA Pediatrics 2013: http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1720224
- Duffy, et al. Exclusive Breastfeeding Protects Against Bacterial Colonization and Day Care Exposure to Otitis Media. Pediatrics 1997: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/100/4/e7.full
- Dell, To. Breastfeeding and Asthma in Young Children: Findings From a Population-Based Study. JAMA Pediatrics 2001: http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=191182
Note that the studies on the effects of breastfeeding on asthma have returned ambiguous results, with some positive results like those cited above, and some studies that concluded there was no effect on asthma.
Hi, I’m Russell Faust, author of this medical education blog.
That wonderful photo of me is by Chris Stranad; here is his site: http://www.chrisstranadphotography.com/Index.html
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