Some moms and dads have known the secret to a higher I.Q. for thousands of years. Yet it comes as a news-breaker in papers such as the NYTimes when JAMA Pediatrics, a major mainstream medical journal, publishes a study about it. The World Health Organization recommends doing this for at least 2 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends doing it for at least 1 year.
Breastfeeding 1+ years WILL increase your child's I.Q.
(for those who have already chosen the formula path, have adopted, or have serious medical issues I am in the process of writing a post on how to pick the healthiest formula so check back and don't feel left out!)
Below is the latest study including the results and conclusion (the important part). The outcome has taken into account factors such as socio-economics and parents education level. They are looking at exclusive breastfeeding (no formula/bottles) compared to just formula feeding for the first six months followed by then breastmilk and solids. If you need another reference, the World Health Organization already found the relationship between exclusive breastfeeding and higher I.Q. (and as adults are less likely to be overweight or diabetic).
Infant Feeding and Childhood Cognition at Ages 3 and 7 Years: Effects of Breastfeeding Duration and Exclusivity.
JAMA Pediatr. 2013 Jul 29. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.455.
Belfort MB, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinman KP, Guthrie LB, Bellinger DC, Taveras EM, Gillman MW, Oken E.Division of Newborn Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
IMPORTANCE Breastfeeding may benefit child cognitive development, but few studies have quantified breastfeeding duration or exclusivity, nor has any study to date examined the role of maternal diet during lactation on child cognition.
OBJECTIVES To examine relationships of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity with child cognition at ages 3 and 7 years and to evaluate the extent to which maternal fish intake during lactation modifies associations of infant feeding with later cognition.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Prospective cohort study (Project Viva), a US prebirth cohort that enrolled mothers from April 22, 1999, to July 31, 2002, and followed up children to age 7 years, including 1312 Project Viva mothers and children. MAIN EXPOSURE Duration of any breastfeeding to age 12 months.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Child receptive language assessed with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test at age 3 years, Wide Range Assessment of Visual Motor Abilities at ages 3 and 7 years, and Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test and Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning at age 7 years.
RESULTS Adjusting for sociodemographics, maternal intelligence, and home environment in linear regression, longer breastfeeding duration was associated with higher Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test score at age 3 years (0.21; 95% CI, 0.03-0.38 points per month breastfed) and with higher intelligence on the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test at age 7 years (0.35; 0.16-0.53 verbal points per month breastfed; and 0.29; 0.05-0.54 nonverbal points per month breastfed). Breastfeeding duration was not associated with Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning scores. Beneficial effects of breastfeeding on the Wide Range Assessment of Visual Motor Abilities at age 3 years seemed greater for women who consumed 2 or more servings of fish per week (0.24; 0.00-0.47 points per month breastfed) compared with less than 2 servings of fish per week (-0.01; -0.22 to 0.20 points per month breastfed) (P = .16 for interaction).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Our results support a causal relationship of breastfeeding duration with receptive language and verbal and nonverbal intelligence later in life.
Why Breastfeed? - Includes 10 steps to successful breastfeeding
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Breastfeeding in Public - So much easier than dealing with bottles.
Parenting School 101 - Includes a great breastfeeding book to read!
Nursing Tea Recipe - One recipe for pregnancy, postpartum, and to increase milk supply.