A recent prospective study with 30 year followup indicates that breastfeeding is associated with improved IQ and income.
A summary of the study from NBC/Today Health. An excerpt:
Babies who are breastfed for at least a year grow up to be significantly more intelligent as adults and they earn more money, too, a new study shows….
Many experts have questioned whether it’s breastfeeding that makes babies grow up healthier and smarter, or something else that their mothers do — maybe spending more time with them. In other studies done in the U.S. and Europe, mothers who breastfeed longer tend to be more educated and affluent — and that clearly has an effect on their kids.
This study was different.
“What is unique about this study is the fact that, in the population we studied, breastfeeding was not more common among highly educated, high-income women, but was evenly distributed by social class,” Horta said.
Coverage of story from NY Times with link to original study: an excerpt:
The study, in the April issue of Lancet Global Health, began in 1982 with 5,914 newborns. The duration of breast-feeding and the age when the babies began eating solid foods was recorded. Thirty years later, researchers were able to interview and test 3,493 of the original group….
Still, the authors acknowledge that this is an observational study, and that many other unmeasured factors could have influenced their results.
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