Good news for all the breastfeeding moms — a study proves breastfed boys do better in school than their bottle fed peers.
We already know that breastfeeding is good for both mommy and baby, but now it looks like there are even more benefits. Researchers at the University of Western Australia’s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research studied the results of standardized tests given to 1, 038 10-year-old boys and girls. What they discovered was that the breastfed boys did better in math, reading, writing and spelling than their classmates who had been given bottles of formula! Yet breast milk didn’t appear to have any influence on the brains of girls.
Why is that? Researchers believe that since girls’ brains are already being nourished from the sex hormone estrogen, the healthy fats in breast milk help the boys’ brains catch up. The study also revealed that a mother’s attention is much more important for the brain development of boys than girls, which makes sense because the act of breastfeeding is a very bonding experience.
This study also took into account the child’s social class, how much education their mother received and the amount of time spent reading to the child. But it seems that having spent at least six months on mother’s milk was most beneficial to brain development. Those boys scored almost nine percent higher on math and writing tests than their bottle-fed peers.
Besides the brain boost, new mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their babies to help cut the chances of their kids growing up to be a picky eater and it also could reduce the mother’s chances of developing some cancers.
HollyMoms, does this make you more determined to breastfeed?