Breastfeeding can boost your baby’s IQ: Babies who consume breast milk for even a few months have a higher score on cognitive tests at age 10, according to the study.
- The scientists examined the results of tests over 9,000 nine and ten years old
- Children who were breastfed for at least 12 months scored the highest
- But breastfed babies score higher than non-breastfed babies
- Previous research has found key nutrients in breast milk that help develop a healthy brain
Babies who breastfeed even a few months after birth tend to score higher on neurocognitive tests at 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 reported breastfeeding and compared their results with many children who were not.
The findings show that any amount of breastfeeding has a positive cognitive effect on children, although the more breastfed children are, the higher their score.
Dr Daniel Adan Lopez, the study’s lead author, said: “Hopefully, from a political point of view, this can help improve breastfeeding motivation.”
Scroll down for videos
Babies who breastfeed even a few months after birth tend to score higher on neurocognitive tests at age 10, new study reveals (stock image)
What is the NHS advice for breastfeeding mothers?
The NHS guide to pushing your baby to your breast is as follows:
- Hold your baby close to your nipple.
- Wait until your baby opens his mouth very well with his tongue down. You can encourage them to do this by gently stroking their upper lip.
- Bring your baby to your breast.
- Your baby will lean back and come first to your breast chin.
Remember to support your baby’s neck, but do not hold the back of your head.
Then they should be able to get a big breast mouth. Your nipple should go towards the roof of their mouth.
In the study, researchers from the Del Monte Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Rochester Medical Center analyzed thousands of cognitive tests to determine if children ‘s scores could be linked to whether or not they were breastfeeding.
Dr Lopez said: “Our findings show that any amount of breastfeeding has a positive cognitive impact, even after only a few months. This is fascinating for these results. “
The team looked at the results of trials of more than 9,000 participants aged nine and ten in the United States.
“The strongest relationship was in children who breastfed for more than 12 months,” said Dr. Lopez.
“The scores of breastfed babies until they were seven to 12 months old were slightly lower and then the scores of one to six months old dropped a little more.
“But all the results were higher compared to babies who do not breastfeed at all.”
While the researchers did not consider the reason for the link, they point to previous research that has found key nutrients in breast milk that contribute to brain health development.
In their study, published in the Frontiers of Public Health, the researchers explained: “Previous research on breastfeeding nutrients and postnatal cognitive development has focused on the role of arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
DHA is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid produced by the mother and transferred to the fetus during the third trimester of pregnancy.
While researchers have not looked at the reason for the connection, they point to previous research that has found key nutrients in breast milk that contribute to brain health development (stock image)
“After birth, breast milk is the main source of DHA for infants. DHA is directly involved in the myelination of the frontal lobes of the brain throughout childhood and adolescence. “
Based on the findings, the researchers encourage families to consider breastfeeding as an option if possible.
Dr Hayley Martin, co-author of the study, added: “There is already established research showing the many benefits that breastfeeding has for both mother and child.
“The findings of this study are important for families, especially before and immediately after birth when deciding to breastfeed.
It can encourage breastfeeding goals of one year or more.
“It also emphasizes the crucial importance of continuing to work to provide equity-oriented access to breastfeeding support, prenatal education and practices to remove structural barriers to breastfeeding.”
TREATMENT Reduces the risk of endometriosis
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometriosis by up to 40% and ovarian cancer by up to 91%, according to recent studies.
Of course, breastfeeding for a total of three or more years in a woman’s lifetime reduces the risk of developing a painful gynecological disorder by almost 40%, according to a study.
For every three extra months a woman breastfeeds during pregnancy, the risk of endometriosis is reduced by eight percent, while exclusive feeding naturally reduces the chance of diagnosis by 14 percent, the study added.
This is believed to be due to hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding as women temporarily stop having periods.
Natural feeding also alters the release of certain hormones, such as oxytocin and estrogen, which can determine a woman’s risk of a disorder.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the lining of the uterus appears elsewhere in the body. It affects about 10% of women in the US and usually causes pelvic pain, discomfort during sex and heavy periods.
Breastfeeding has also been linked to a risk reduction of up to 91 percent for ovarian cancer, according to another study.
Similar to its effects on endometriosis, scientists believe that breastfeeding helps prevent cancer by delaying ovulation, during which cell mutations can lead to cancer.