December 20th, 2010
12:28 PM ET

Are breast fed babies smarter?

A study in the journal "Pediatrics" found that babies who were mainly breast-fed for the first six months of life or longer, scored higher academically when they got older, than children who were not breastfed or breastfed over a shorter length of time.

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between duration of breast-feeding and educational outcomes.

Colostrum is the thick yellow first breast milk that you make during pregnancy and just after birth. This milk is very rich in nutrients and antibodies that protect your baby.

The American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization recommend breastfeeding for babies. Health experts claim breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.

Although numerous studies have looked at intelligence and breastfeeding, it is still not clear whether the benefits of breastfeeding on cognitive development reflect nutritional or socioeconomic advantages.

Some studies have revealed no differences after adjusting for socioeconomic status, environment, and maternal verbal ability, whereas others have shown benefits.

For this study, Australian researchers looked at more than 2,800 babies born between 1989 to 1992 and then collected academic data on half of the youngsters at age 10. Researchers found that young boys who were breast-fed for six months or longer were found to have higher academic scores in math, reading and spelling than boys who were breast-fed for shorter periods. In girls, the benefits were not as significant.
The differences in males who were breastfed ranged anywhere from 30 to 40 points higher, than boys who were not breastfed or were breastfed for less than six months.

"The biggest surprise was boys did better than girls if breastfed," noted lead author Dr Wendy Oddy, a researcher with Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia. "Boys develop slower than girls and this may be due to neuro-protective effect of the female hormones (estrodiols) in girls. Breastfeeding may advance maturation in boys so they develop faster than if not breastfed."

Study authors noted not only does the nutrition found in mother's milk possibly help brain power, but a number of other things could be in play. According to investigators, mothers who choose to breast-fed tend to have higher socioeconomic status and higher intelligence and tend to be older and more educated and that these factors could transfer to their children.

Researchers say the study adds to growing evidence that breast-feeding has beneficial effects on a baby's development.

"There is so much evidence to show the benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding." said Oddy. "Human milk is 'species specific' (human milk for human babies) and contains many bioactive factors as well as the specific essential fatty acids – omega-3 fatty acids necessary for the developing brain and central nervous system."

soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Isabella

    My formula fed son is 24 and in the last year of his maths PhD. He does complex calculations in his head. Are we bonded? Absolutely. He has only just moved out to live with his girlfriend of six years who owns her own home. Is he healthy? Absolutely, to the disappointment of my doctor who has rarely seen him. Is he obese? No, he's 6'2" and just ran a marathon today. Is he good at sport? Absolutely. He loves soccer and the kids loved him at school. He was their best striker. Now he plays futsal when he can. I totally believe in breast feeding for sick and pre-term babies, but I don't understand why people care so much what other mothers are feeding their baby. No-one cared when my alcoholic neighbour breast fed her FAS son.

    September 1, 2012 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. jeremyiu16

    My self-controlled protrude:

    May 27, 2018 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jeaniekh11

    My creative web contract:

    May 27, 2018 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. charlieff11

    Perfectly started supplementary protrude:

    July 12, 2018 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. tommyux3

    Further lodgings after instead of concoct:

    October 16, 2018 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. raeqd18

    My novel page
    erotical nights erotic photgraphy free adult games sapphire erotic erotic games pc

    November 3, 2018 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. detectives privados formentera

    detectives en antequera


    December 11, 2020 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. earn passive income in 2021

    Imagine getting hundreds of people flooding your inbox on autopilot, This is made thanks to traffic conveyed on autopilot over various “viral tiers”. 100 commissions of up to 900+ dollars DAILY. More details: https://bit.ly/2YfQFcC


    December 26, 2020 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ted Pearyer

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more


    January 22, 2021 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Etha Saporito

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices


    January 27, 2021 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Christopher Rohrscheib


    January 28, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. malatya escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...


    February 4, 2021 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. iskenderun escort

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


    February 5, 2021 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. mersin escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...


    February 5, 2021 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Tajuana Coville

    Earn $1000/Day With Our Passive Income System – Best Autopilot income system 2021


    February 6, 2021 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. zortilonrel

    You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I to find this topic to be really one thing which I feel I might never understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely broad for me. I'm having a look ahead in your next put up, I?¦ll attempt to get the hold of it!


    February 7, 2021 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. wearegeneralnews

    Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to take a look. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and terrific style and design.

    February 7, 2021 at 08:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. dr-goz-peter-ugyved.business.site

    Great V I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task..


    February 9, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. www.theondecknews.com home

    My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how so much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    February 11, 2021 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. wearethenationnews.com money

    I used to be suggested this website by my cousin. I am no longer certain whether or not this submit is written by him as nobody else understand such particular about my problem. You are amazing! Thank you!


    February 13, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. bsc body zotrim

    Hola! I've been reading your website forr a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead
    and give you a shoht out from Atascocita Texas! Just
    wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!

    My web page – bsc body zotrim

    February 13, 2021 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Profitable-Digital-Marketing Strategy-and-Plan

    High DA PA 50+ Do follow Forum Backlinks: https://www.seoclerk.com/Link-Building/836800/High-DA-PA-50-Do-follow-Forum-Backlinks


    February 16, 2021 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. WEXX Astrological Studio


    February 17, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. facebook.com/clipsitnet

    Thanks for some other fantastic article. The place else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect method of writing? I've a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such info.


    February 22, 2021 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. zotrim generic

    Hey there I am so delighted I found your website, I really
    found you by mistake, while I was researching on Aool forr something else, Regardless I
    am here now and would just like to say cheers for a
    tremendous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also
    love the theme/design), I don't have time to read itt all at the
    minute but I havfe book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, soo when I have time I will be back to read much more,
    Pleasee do keep up the fantastic job.

    Have a look at my web page;zotrim generic

    February 24, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. diigo

    My brother suggested I would possibly like this web site. He was once totally right. This submit actually made my day. You cann't believe simply how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thank you!


    February 25, 2021 at 07:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. vreyro linomit

    Fantastic web site. Plenty of helpful information here. I’m sending it to several buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks in your effort!


    February 26, 2021 at 07:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. theondecknews

    Magnificent website. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to some pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks to your sweat!


    March 1, 2021 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Lester Boreen


    March 4, 2021 at 10:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. www.thetrailblazingnews.com business

    Ive recently started a site, the info you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.


    March 4, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Paul Briseno

    You can definitely see your expertise within the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart. "History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon." by Napoleon.


    March 6, 2021 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Ebonie Pasey


    March 6, 2021 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Renae

    What i do not understood is actually how you are not really much more well-liked than you might be now. You're very intelligent. You realize therefore significantly relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men aren't fascinated unless it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. Always maintain it up!


    March 8, 2021 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. booklikes

    Awsome post and right to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thanks in advance 🙂

    March 9, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mr joint intelligent neck massager

    There is visibly a bunch to know about this. I feel you made certain good points in features also.


    March 10, 2021 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. showcardcc.com

    I am curious to find out what blog platform you're working with? I'm experiencing some small security issues with my latest blog and I'd like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any recommendations?


    March 11, 2021 at 06:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Mr joint neck massager review

    Hola! I've been following your weblog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!


    March 12, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. click here

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My website is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would really benefit from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks a lot!


    March 13, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Aviron Rower Review

    Hiya, I am really glad I've found this info. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is really frustrating. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.


    March 13, 2021 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. The powerhouse II 400

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you really understand what you are speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Please additionally discuss with my website =). We may have a link exchange agreement among us!


    March 13, 2021 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Weight gurus wifi scale review

    Thanks for every other informative web site. Where else may I get that type of information written in such a perfect way? I have a challenge that I am simply now running on, and I've been at the look out for such information.


    March 13, 2021 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Nuwaveoxypure

    wonderful post, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must proceed your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers' base already!


    March 14, 2021 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Triducna foot massager price

    I have not checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂


    March 14, 2021 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. disneyplus.com/begin

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this web site. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.


    March 15, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. mercurycard.com/activate

    Its really a great and useful piece of info. I am happy that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.


    March 15, 2021 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Atoz amazon work

    Useful information. Fortunate me I discovered your site accidentally, and I'm surprised why this accident didn't came about in advance! I bookmarked it.


    March 16, 2021 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Flex beam

    Terrific work! That is the type of info that are meant to be shared around the net. Shame on Google for not positioning this publish upper! Come on over and discuss with my site . Thank you =)


    March 16, 2021 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Show credit card login

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post's to be exactly I'm looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome website!


    March 20, 2021 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. jerrys product reviews

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back very soon. I want to encourage continue your great work, have a nice weekend!


    March 24, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. click here

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks!


    March 26, 2021 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.