A-Grade Mother's Milk

Children breastfed for six months or longer are likely to have improved acadamic performance

(RxWiki News) According to a study in the January 2011 issue of the journal Pediatrics, timing and duration of breast feeding can affect a child's academic success.

Researchers found that children who were breastfed for at least the first six months of their lives showed substantially improved academic performance at the age of 10.

In conducting the study, researchers followed 2,868 Australian children born between 1989 and 1992. The collected data - after adjusting for gender, family income, and how often the child was read to - was drawn from 1,038 eligible children at 10 years of age.

Boys who were breastfed for six months or longer showed improvement in their math, reading, and spelling scores. Girls, on the other hand, showed an insignificantly small improvement in reading scores.

According to the study's authors, the duration of breastfeeding is independently associated with improved academic performance in middle childhood, especially for boys. Consequently, the authors encourage mothers to breastfeed for at least six months.

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Review Date: 
December 21, 2010