Breastfeeding Benefits Has No IQ Boost; Experts Say Breastfed Kids Less Hyper, Not Smarter

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 28, 04:00 am
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Experts found no direct causal link between breastfeeding and smarter babies, but they learned breastfed babies are less hyper than bottle-fed babies.
(Photo : Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Moms have good reasons to breastfeed their baby and an IQ boost to compound the child's cognitive abilities might not be one of this. A new study underscored how breastfeeding makes kids less hyper but not exactly smarter.

The study learned babies who were breastfed for up to 6-months-old were less hyperactive during their toddler years compared to those who were bottle fed. Experts from the University College Dublin, however, found no direct causal links to breastfeeding and baby's intelligence. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

The researchers looked into the data of 8,000 Irish children between the ages of three to five. The kids took standardized tests so the experts could measure their cognitive abilities. The kids who breastfed scored higher than the kids who were not breastfed but researchers said the difference wasn't significant.

Dr.Lisa-Christine Girard headed the study that uncovered the more significant difference in the kids' hyperactive behavior. Breastfed babies were calmer and had fewer problematic behaviors at age three than bottle fed babies. This difference, however, gradually disappeared by the time the kids turned five.

"The earlier observed benefit from breastfeeding may not be maintained once children enter school," the study authors concluded, as per NPR. The experts also said other factors were at play when it came to cognitive boosts in babies and it's not necessarily because of breastfeeding.

A mom who breastfed was typically more educated or have higher levels of education. Thus, she could have made a better learning environment for her growing baby to become school-ready.

Despite the findings, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization still maintain breastmilk is best for the baby's first six months. An IQ boost, after all, isn't the only reason why doctors recommend breastfeeding.

Breastmilk increases the babies' immunities against germs, viruses and infections. It also deepens the bond between mom and baby. For these reasons, mothers must strive to feed their newborns naturally to reap the gains.

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