Moms who breastfed their children often preach about its benefits and how much they enjoyed the bonding experience. I nursed my child, but certainly don't feel superior to those who don't. I believe it's a very personal decision — often made by the body.
That said, a researcher released a new study saying:
The children in the group where breastfeeding was encouraged scored about five percent higher in IQ tests and did better academically.
To learn about the study,
Researchers studied 14,000 babies over six–and–a–half years. Half of the children were assigned to a group where breastfeeding was encouraged.
The other group received no special motivation to nurse their children. At three months, 73 percent of the encouraged group was still nursing compared to the 60 percent in the other group. Among the mothers motivated to nurse, they were more inclined to only give their infant breast milk – seven times as much as the other group.
Dr. Michael Kramer of McGill University in Montreal attributes the difference in scores to the mother instead of the act of breastfeeding. He told MSNBC:
Mothers who breastfeed or those who breastfeed longer or most exclusively are different from the mothers who don’t. They tend to be smarter. They tend to be more invested in their babies. They tend to interact with them more closely. They may be the kind of mothers who read to their kids more, who spend more time with their kids, who play with them more.
It could even be that because breast-feeding takes longer, the mother is interacting more with the baby, talking with the baby, soothing the baby. It could be an emotional thing. It could be a physical thing. Or it could be a hormone or something else in the milk that’s absorbed by the baby.
Whatever the reason, the evidence from the study shows that breastfed babies do score higher than their peers. So if you want a brainy baby, let it flow!