Breastfed children also had higher levels of cognitive development and lower levels of stress.
The studies followed children born in 1958 and 1970 until they reached 33/34 years of age.
Their social class was based on their fathers’ occupations and whether or not they were breastfed was recorded. The results were the same in both studies even though breastfeeding had declined from 68% in the 1958 group to 36% in the 1975 group..
The report was written by academics at University College London and the University of Essex. Despite the findings the experts still don’t know exactly why breastfeeding has these benefits, particularly in the short-term for babies’ health.
Dr Mary Iacovou, one of the researchers, said; “There’s lots of evidence that breastfeeding is good for babies in lots of ways. What we don’t quite know is why. Is it the long-chain fatty acids in the milk? (which could be added to formula milk). Is it enhanced skin-to-skin contact? (bottle-fed babies could be given more skin contact”.
See also: Breast best for boys