A study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics shows that breastfeeding may be linked to higher IQ levels and better learning abilities in kids. According to the study, it has been observed that breastfeeding appear to bring positive impacts that aid a child’s cognitive development, especially in areas related to language and intelligence.
In fact, for each extra month that the women who were studied reported to have breastfed, their children performed slightly better on exams related to language and intelligence compared to children who had not been breastfed for an equal duration.
Breastfeeding is said to make kids smarter. Image courtesy: Dreamstime
So how exactly can breastfeeding boost a baby’s brain?
For one, breastmilk contains DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid which is a brain-boosting nutrient that is vital for the growth and development of brain tissues during the first years. With a high concentration of DHA found in breastmilk (thanks to a healthy, nutritious diet plan from mum), this can help to improve the intelligence of kids who have been breastfed longer.
Based on this fact, the study shows how extended breastfeeding may help a child have a better understanding of a language by the age of 3.
In addition, by age 7, kids who have been breastfed longer are more likely to achieve higher grades.
Doctors usually recommend that mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies until they are at least 6 months old.
However, research shows that if babies are breastfed for 1 year, it may increases their ability to comprehend different languages at a much earlier age.
Children who have only been breastfed until 6 months old exhibited the same ability, only later on at age 3.
Similarly, at age 7, children who had been breastfed for a year showed higher scores on verbal and non-verbal tests than kids who weren’t breastfed until then.
However, performance on other tests such as visual abilities, drawing skills, motor skills and memory showed no improvement from babies who were not breastfed until age 1.
So what do you think of this new research? Let us know if you agree or disagree in the comment box below!
Meanwhile, watch this video for more on breastfeeding and intelligence: