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Does Breastfeeding Improve Cognition?


You may have heard that breastfed babies are better behaved or smarter than those who are formula fed. But a new study published in “Pediatrics” suggests this may not be the case.


A team from the University College Dublin studied 7,478 children, most of whom had been breast fed for some time. They assessed their cognitive abilities at ages 3 and 5.


The study revealed that the children who had been breastfed scored higher on vocabulary and problem solving tests. But this is likely from other factors like the mother's’ education level and the family’s social class.


And although the study also suggested breastfeeding could have an effect on a child’s hyperactivity level, this is more likely a result from the child’s environment changing as they start school.

So although there are several nutritional benefits to breastfeeding babies, behavioral and cognitive skills don’t appear to be included on that list.


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