Breastfeeding can increase your child’s IQ: Babies who only consume breast milk for a few months score higher on cognitive tests by the age of 10, according to study results
- Scientists checked the test results of more than 9,000 nine and ten year olds
- Infants who were breastfed for at least 12 months scored the highest scores
- But children who were breastfed at all had higher results than those who weren’t
- Previous research has found important nutrients in breast milk that contribute to healthy brain development
Babies who are breastfed just months after birth have a tendency to score higher on neurocognitive tests by the age of 10, according to a new study.
Researchers in the United States gave cognitive tests to nine- and ten-year-olds whose mothers said they had been breastfed and compared their results to dozens of children who were not.
The results suggest that abundant breastfeeding has a positive cognitive impact on children. The longer the children have been breastfed, the higher their score.
Dr. Daniel Adan Lopez, lead author of the study, said, “From a political perspective, hopefully this can help improve motivation to breastfeed.”
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Babies who are breastfed just a few months after birth have a tendency to score higher on neurocognitive tests by the age of 10. This was the result of a new study (archive picture).
What is the NHS Advice for Breastfeeding Mothers?
The NHS guidance on how to get your baby to hold on to your breast is as follows:
- Hold your baby close to you with their nose and nipple.
- Wait for your baby to open their mouth wide with their tongue pointing down. You can encourage her to do so by gently stroking her upper lip.
- Bring your baby to your breast.
- Your baby will tilt his head back and come to your chest chin first.
Make sure to support your baby’s neck, but not hold the back of the head.
You should then be able to take a long swig of your chest. Your nipple should go towards the roof of your mouth.
In the study, researchers at the Del Monte Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Rochester Medical Center analyzed thousands of cognitive tests to determine whether children’s results might be related to whether or not they were breastfed.
Dr. Lopez said, “Our results suggest that breastfeeding a lot has a positive cognitive impact in just a few months. That is the exciting thing about these results. ‘
The team reviewed the test results of more than 9,000 nine- and ten-year-olds in the United States.
“The strongest association was with children who were breastfed for more than 12 months,” said Dr. Lopez.
“The score of the children who were breastfed up to the age of seven to twelve was slightly lower, and the one to six month old values decrease a little more.
“But all values were higher compared to children who did not breastfeed at all.”
While the researchers didn’t investigate the reason for the link, they point to previous research that found important nutrients in breast milk that help develop healthy brains.
In their study, published in Frontiers of Public Health, the researchers stated, “Previous research on nutrients in breast milk and postnatal cognitive development has focused on the roles of arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
‘DHA is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid produced by the mother and transmitted to the fetus in the third trimester of pregnancy.
While the researchers didn’t investigate the reason for the link, they point to previous research that found important nutrients in breast milk that contribute to the development of healthy brains (archive image).
‘After birth, breast milk is the main source of DHA in infants. DHA is directly involved in the myelination of the frontal lobes of the brain throughout childhood and adolescence. ‘
Based on the results, the researchers encourage families to consider breastfeeding whenever possible.
Dr. Hayley Martin, co-author of the study, added, “There is well-established research showing the many benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child.
‘The results of this study are important to families, especially before and shortly after birth, when breastfeeding decisions are made.
‘It can encourage breastfeeding goals of a year or more.
“It also underscores the critical importance of continued work to enable equity-based access to breastfeeding support, antenatal education and practices to remove structural barriers to breastfeeding.”
BREAKFAST REDUCES THE RISK OF ENDOMETRIOSIS
According to recent studies, breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometriosis by up to 40 percent and of ovarian cancer by up to 91 percent.
One study found that eating a natural diet for a total of three or more years of a woman’s life reduced her risk of developing a painful gynecological disorder by nearly 40 percent.
For every three additional months a woman breastfeeds per pregnancy, her risk of developing endometriosis is reduced by eight percent, while exclusive feeding reduces the chance of a diagnosis naturally by 14 percent.
It is believed that this is due to hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding, when women temporarily run out of periods.
Natural diets also alter the release of certain hormones, such as oxytocin and estrogen, that can determine a woman’s risk for the disorder.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the lining of the uterus appears elsewhere in the body. It affects approximately 10 percent of women in the United States and often causes pelvic pain, discomfort during sex, and heavy periods.
According to another study, breastfeeding was also linked to up to 91 percent risk reductions for ovarian cancer.
Similar to endometriosis, scientists believe that breastfeeding helps prevent cancer by delaying ovulation, during which cell mutations can lead to cancer.