Breast-Fed Children Not Necessarily Smarter, Study Finds

CBS Local – Researchers in Dublin set out to find if breastfeeding was proportionate with intelligence for children. They found that the breast-fed kids tested a slightly higher, but the difference in negligible, according to their study posted in Journal of Pediatrics.

They tested 8,000 children at the ages of three and five in Ireland. They also found that at age three, the breast-fed kids were a bit less hyper-active, though that evened out by age five.

“[The difference] wasn’t big enough to show statistical significance,” said study author Lisa-Christine Girard, a child-development researcher at University College Dublin, via NPR.org. “We weren’t able to find a direct causal link between breast-feeding and children’s cognitive outcomes,” Girard says.

Girard continues to say that due to the eclectic amount of factors that go into intelligence, their “findings are not overly surprising.”

“For example, mothers who breast-feed typically have higher levels of education,” said Girard. “How many books are in the home, how much time is spent reading?”

Obviously this study is just one of many as researchers look to improve the knowledge surrounding the subject of breastfeeding.

“This has been a debate for over 100 years, and we’re working hard to understand the complete picture,” said Girard.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Considering that breast milk is human specific, the capacity to indicate ‘smarter’ is questionably relative and of little substance.

    Why is so important to cast shadows on breastfeeding, a positive organic source of life?

    Why purpose written media to cause emotional harm to a new mom who may have little to no support in her well intended choice to naturally breastfeed her child?

    As a mom of 6, I have had the pleasure of breastfeeding all 6 children & homeschooling them. I noticed that they were quite fast at catching on to various tasks. (For mommy time, I volunteered at a local daycare while my children did their gym days at the YMCA, so that we could have time apart from each other, so we were not a socially deprived family) But as this article suggest, my higher level of education would suggest that there is not real link to the fact that I was a breastfeeding mom. Honestly, it was my connection to a breastfeeding mom who did not have my level of ‘higher level of education’, that gave me the source of understanding the importance of breastfeeding.

    After the first few months of ‘nursing’ my first son, while attending a pediatric well-baby check up, Mr. Doctor asked if I were still breastfeeding. I responded ‘yes Sir, I am’. He said, “it makes them smarter, you should nurse all your children.” At that time he had been in practice greater than 30 years.

    I preferred the older more experienced doctors to assist me during my young years of motherhood. My Peds Dr. required his clients parents to be very attentive and responsible, he did not excuse laissez faire parents. Looking back, I am so glad that I trusted my life experienced trained medical doctor as to many of the benefits of breastfeeding rather than a journal with questionable motives.

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