Future Academic Success and Breastfeeding

12 August 2012 / 1 comment
Category: Mommy Talk

Every new mother wants the best for her child. This means everything from the best food to the best start in life. One of the other things me and other mothers want for their child is for the child to receive an excellent education and be as bright as possible. Wanting this for my child is what made me listen up when I learned about the research being conducted by the Christchurch Health and Development Study at the Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand. Their research has shown that there is a link between breastfeeding and the future academic success of a child.

The study examined the link between the length of time a baby is breastfed and childhood cognitive ability and academic achievement.  Children were studied from birth through their 18th birthday. Data was collected from over 1000 children over the course of the 18 year study. This study really tests the argument that there are long term effects of breast or bottler feeding on a child. The information from the study is actually quite eye-opening and suggests that babies who are breastfed have quite an academic advantage over those who are bottle fed. I think that this study should be shown to all people on both sides of breastfeeding issues. I feel that it could do a lot to educate people and change how they feel about breast feeding and the long term positive effects it provides a child.

Information was gathered regarding how the children were breastfed during the first year of life. From the ages of 8 to 18 the children in the study were assessed on a range of measures of cognitive and academic areas. These areas included measures of child intelligence quotient, ratings of school performance, standardized tests for reading comprehension and mathematics. Information was also gathered concerning their scores on school exit examinations.

The researchers in this study found that breastfeeding for at least 8 months was associated with consistent and significant increases in IQ, reading comprehension, mathematical ability, and scholastic ability. They also found that doing this also caused these children to have higher scores in reading and mathematics test and school exit examinations. These scores were measured against children of the same ages who were bottle fed the first 8 months or more of their lives.

More research on their lives is set to study the long term of breast feeding on the socio-economic success of the test subjects. The researchers of this study also plan to study how these children fare in terms of disease and how they raise their own children in the future.

For now this research shows us that the decision to breastfeed could help our children as they enter into school and head off to college later. For me this was quite an endorsement for new mothers to breastfeed their children. I personally cannot wait to find out the results of tong term data gathered from this study. Something tells me that the results will be both interesting and quite a positive endorsement for breastfeeding.


Written by Stefanie Prinkles

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