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Can Breastfeeding Make Your Child Smarter?

By Lauren Jimeson |

Mother Breastfeeding Baby In NurseryBreastfeeding your baby may have a lot more impact than originally thought. There are numerous studies published that show health benefits of breastfeeding, but now researchers are also saying that it could make your baby more intelligent when they are older.

Researchers from Harvard University published a study in JAMA Pediatrics that concluded that children who were breastfed scored higher on intelligence tests than those children that were formula fed.

The study followed over 1,300 moms and their babies who breastfed anywhere from one month to one year. At age three, children who were breastfed scored 0.3 points higher on verbal intelligence tests for each month they were breastfed. By age seven, that score increased to 0.5 points per month that the child was breastfed. The scores were higher with children who were exclusively breastfed for the first six months.

Although breastfeeding is becoming more and more popular among mothers, this study just further justification for mothers who are unsure to whether or not they want to breastfeed their baby. Breastfeeding was always something that I wanted to do for both of my children. At first I wanted to do it because of the health benefits, but as soon I Avery was born, I realized that it was much more convenient than fixing a bottle. Especially when we were out and about.

Breastfeeding isn’t easy. Especially for mothers who have to return to the work environment after the first couple of months. I went back to work with my oldest daughter and my milk supply diminished significantly. Fortunately I worked in an environment that was very supportive of my choice to breastfeed and they let me pump whenever I needed to. It wasn’t easy and I did have to supplement formula when I couldn’t produce enough, but I breastfed when I could. It was something that was very important to me personally and I wanted to keep at it as long as I could.

The more studies that come out showing me the benefits of breastfeeding just secure the choice that I made to breastfeed, no matter how tough it was and how many doctors told me to stop doing it.

 What do you think of these newest findings? 

More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:

Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Babble Baby.

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About Lauren Jimeson

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Lauren Jimeson

Lauren Jimeson is the author of A Mommy in the City, which chronicles living the city life with a suburban mentality. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lauren's latest posts →

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One thought on “Can Breastfeeding Make Your Child Smarter?

  1. Rachel says:

    I think it is a correlation rather than causation. Women who are more intelligent and prepared to have a child know that breast feeding is the best for their baby. So these children are genetically likely to be smarter. Breast feeding women are probably also women who make sure that their children are given lots of stimulation, learning opportunities and such so obviously their children will be smarter. I would like to see a study where those variables are controlled and then I would be more likely to conclude that it is actually the breast milk that makes a difference.

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