Babies who are breast fed turn out to be the smartest in their class, a new study finds.
Breastfeeding is known as an effective way of boosting a child's educational performance within their first few months in school. The study claims that these children showed better academic performance by the time they were five years old compared to their classmates who were fed with formula. The researchers involved in the study looked at assessments carried out by teachers at the end of the first year which confirmed that children who were breast fed the longest time reached their highest level of achievement.
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A team led by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford said the study proved that breastfeeding children for a longer period of time could improve their performance at primary school. Breastfeeding was also linked to better achievement in all aspects of their lives but the benefits were much stronger in terms of their communication skills, language proficiency and literacy, knowledge acquisition and understanding of the world and their physical development. The study, published in the journal Maternal and Child Nutrition looked at 5,489 children in England. Parents of these children were interviewed when they were just nine months old.
Results showed that two thirds of children had been breast fed at some age, 32 percent had been breast fed for at least four months and 16 percent were breast fed exclusively for four months. They also found that children who were breast fed for up to two months were nine percent more likely to have reached a good level of overall achievement compared to children who have never been breast fed.