While many women opt not to breastfeed their babies, for one reason or another, scientists and medical practitioners agree that the best a mother can do for her baby is to breastfeed him or her as long as possible. Besides all general health benefits, such as strong immune system of baby and resistance to diseases, the study by professors Joseph Sabia from the American University and Daniel Rees from the University of Colorado Denver shows that babies who were breastfed are more likely to do much better at school than babies who were fed from a bottle.
Breastfeeding and academic success
The researchers studied 126 children from 59 families. They compared siblings who were breastfed to those who were not. In this way, they were sure to discount possible effect of mother’s intelligence and the quality of life on the study results.
The results show that each additional month of breastfeeding increased child’s later high school grade point averages by 0.019 points. It also increased the probability of college education by 0.014 points. The conclusion is that breastfeeding offers health and cognitive benefits that are very long term and have long-run benefits to children”s future.
Benefits that keep on giving
Another study published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health confirmed the link between the duration of breastfeeding and child’s cognitive development.
A seven-year study conducted by researchers from the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Poland found that children who were breastfed longer than six months had IQ 3.8-point higher than babies who were bottle-fed.
Numerous studies analyzed the strong bond that is formed between the child and a baby during breastfeeding. The bond affects both mother and a baby, decreases stress, allows baby to sleep better and mother to fight depression easier.
While some mothers are not able to breastfeed their babies for health reasons or because of economic imperative of going back to work, many choose a bottle for convenience. Think carefully if you are contemplating weaning off your baby too soon, or skipping breastfeeding altogether. The price will be paid by your baby, and it will be very high.