Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Children's Intellingence and breastfeeding

Children's Intellingence

The relationship between breastfeeding and children's intelligence has definitely generated much research interest. The literature is extensive, and numerous studies have indeed proven the link between breastfeeding and positive neuro-developmental gains. The following studies and conclusions are a few of many that clearly support this association.

1. Breast milk and subsequent intelligence quotient in children born pre-term by Lucas, A et. al, Lancet (1992).

Higher IQ : This study was the first to discover that in children who were born pre-term, those who had consumed breast milk in their early weeks of life had, on average, an 8.3-point advantage in IQ compared to other children. The advantages in IQ were maintained even after the researchers compared children with the same maternal education levels and social class.

2. Duration of breastfeeding and developmental milestones during the latter half of infancy by Vestergaard, M et al, Acta Pediatrica (1999).

Mastery of developmental milestones : 3 developmental milestones related to general and fine motor skills and early language development were assessed in 1,656 healthy infants at 6 months of age. Results showed that the longer a child was breastfed, the quicker she mastered specific developmental milestones.

3. Breastfeeding and child cognitive development by Kramer, MS et. al, Archives of General Psychiatry (2008).

Improved cognitive and academic performance : This randomised trial is the largest to date, with more than 15,000 healthy breastfeeding infants involved. Results showed prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding produced children with better cognitive development and academic achievement.

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