Most of us know the many benefits of breastfeeding our babies; it is best for the baby’s digestion, immunity, etc, it is also good for the mother and it also has the obvious advantages of great convenience and affordability since it is free! What is less well known, however is that breastfeeding could also have another, lesser known benefit to the baby; that of having a higher IQ than infants who were bottle fed.
11 different studies conducted on over 7000 children were able to show that breast feeding was accompanied by a 5 point higher IQ than formula fed infants. This increase was comprised of a purely nutritional benefit, as well and the benefit of the bonding of an infant with the mother.
“Our best estimates are that maternal bonding and the decision to breast-feed account for about 40 percent of that increase, but that 60 percent — 3.2 points — are related to the actual nutritional value of the breast milk,” according to the researchers.
Although precisely how this happens is not clearly understood, it is generally accepted that there is a correlation between brain development and breast feeding.