Breastfeeding may not boost baby IQs after all

mom_holding_baby_girl_1600_wht_3455Previous research has suggested that breastfeeding can boost your baby’s IQ and also help develop it as the child grows older.

However research at Goldsmiths College, London, now proposes that “Comparatively small events like breastfeeding are very unlikely to be at the core of something as big and complex as children’s differences in IQ. Instead children’s IQ differences are better explained by long-term factors, for example, children’s family background and their schooling

These findings are based on a study of 11,000 British children (from the Twins Early Development Study) who were tested between the ages of two and sixteen so researchers could see how IQ grew. While there appeared to be a link between breastfeeding and girls’ IQ at two years of agent wasn’t statistically significant and wasn’t present for boys.

The study also found that girls’ IQ was slightly higher than boys at age seven the difference had disappeared by the age of sixteen.

Do not despair however there are other well-known benefits from breastfeeding (source: NHS choices).

  • Less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting and having to go to hospital as a result
  • Fewer chest and ear infections so fewer visits to hospital
  • Less chance of being constipated
  • Less likelihood of becoming obese
  • Less chance of developing eczema
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