More Evidence That Breastfeeding Makes Babies Smarter
There’s no end to the research that proves the benefits of breastfeeding. Here’s another to add to the list: a new study done at the Boston Children’s Hospital has found that longer breastfeeding leads to better language reception by age 3 and better nonverbal intelligence at age 7. Researchers also measured the amount of fish a mom ate while she was nursing to see if that kind of brain food was getting to the babies.
Dr. Mandy Belfort looked at the length of breastfeeding and the cognitive abilities of children at ages 3 and 7. She found overall that the longer a child was breastfed, the higher he scored on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. When children of moms who had a high fish intake (eating fish twice or more a week) took the same cognitive tests, they also scored higher.
Dr. Belfort say her research supports doctors’ recommendations that babies nurse exclusively for the first six months of life and continue getting breastmilk through the first year. Of course, breastfeeding can be tough and a mother has to do what works best for her and her baby. Does all the research about breastfeeding you inspire you to nurse (or make you wish you’d nursed)?