Skip to comments.Breast-Feeding, Intelligence Link Probed
Posted on 10/07/2006 6:02:04 PM PDT by Mr. Brightside
October 05, 2006
Breast-Feeding, Intelligence Link Probed
By TARIQ PANJA
LONDON (AP) - Breast-fed children are more intelligent than their bottle-fed counterparts, but this has nothing to do with the content of the milk they receive, a study published in the British Medical Journal said.
For decades scientists have been looking for a correlation between feeding and intelligence, but the report says genetic and environmental factors affect a child's intellect.
Researchers, who analyzed data from more than 5,000 children and 3,000 mothers in the United States, found that mothers who breast-feed tend to be more intelligent, according to a study published Wednesday on the journal's Web site.
"When this fact was taken into account, most of the relationship between breast-feeding and the child's intelligence disappeared," said Jeff Dar, one of the report's authors.
"This research shows that intelligence is determined by factors other than breast-feeding,"
The report won't end the debate about the relationship between intelligence and breast-feeding.
"The problem is trying to show the impact of breast-feeding over and above outside variables," said Mike Woolridge, senior lecturer in infant feeding at the University of Leeds.
He said other studies on the subject have claimed a link to intelligence.
"I fundamentally believe breast-feeding builds a better, more balanced brain in terms of its chemical composition and I'm sure you can measure that in terms of brain performance," Woolridge said.
The researchers found that children who were breast-fed did better on IQ tests, but this was because their mothers were more intelligent, better educated and able to provide a more stimulating home environment.
Part of the research methodology included testing pairs of siblings, for whom feeding habits differed.
"Comparing two people from the same family like this is a good way of getting results that are less affected by family background. This confirmed the earlier results - the breast-fed child was no more intelligent," Dar said.
Dr. Chris Lucas, director of the Early Childhood Service at the New York University Child Study Center, praised the report for taking into account the impact of maternal intelligence on the findings.
"Intelligence is probably one of the most heritable things. Intelligence of a child is very much determined by the intelligence of the parents," he said. "If you don't measure the mother's intelligence, it may appear that there is a link with breast-feeding."
Dar said though his team's study found no link to intelligence, breast-feeding was "definitely the smart thing to do," because of other benefits to both mother and child, including a stronger ability to ward off infections, respiratory illnesses and protection against developing allergies.
A friend of mine and I had our babies a week apart..........I planned all along to breastfeed, and she had no intentions of doing so because it would be a problem once she went back to work when her maternity leave was over, and besides, she was tired of drinking non-alcoholic beer.
Poor gal, my daughter was was born on a Thursday evening and I was back to work on Monday morning while my daughter was nursing.......of course I was self-employed.
I found her attitude to be really bizarre, as she is a MAJOR liberal....to the point I'm surprised she even talks to me, let alone invites me to her home. I guess 30+ years of friendship will do that!!!! And this reminds me, I haven't spoken to her in awhile, I need to give her a call........maybe next week.
She said she just wanted to be friends . . .
These threads are always good for a laugh.
I don't bother with the argument, either, although my husband tossed it out at a friend's wife when she asked if I was still nursing our now almost three year old. The sad thing is the mom he said it to has an exclusively bottlefed son, only 2 days older than our daughter, whose speech was way behind hers... I gave my husband a little lecture about hurting feelings after that!! I'm nursing baby #4, and I can't even imagine the nuisance of formula!
And why spend all that money on formula when you can get it for free?
I know there are some ladies who just can't get their milk to come in, or can't let it down. But I can't see not trying! Think of the time, trouble and money you save!
Dear Lord, did I read that right. You lasted until your baby was 3? Bless you. Because I know of all the benefits of breastmilk, I've made the commitment to nurse for a year. But, I'm already counting down the months. Well, not everyday. But I do think about it. That could be because I'm an exclusive pumper and that get's very tiring.
"Breast" and "Probed" in the same head-line, nice
Absolutely. My daughter was rarely sick as a baby - no allergies, thin as a rail. My little nephew was bottle fed and had colic, ear infections (probably from holding his bottle while lying on his back), and all kinds of troubles. He was a little chunk as a baby too.
I know you're checking out my boobs, but good grief--hide it!
I'm looking right at you and your eyes aren't on my eyes.
This reminds just why breast milk is superior to formula:
1. It's always fresh.
2. The cats can't get at it.
3. It comes in such a cute little container.
That reminds me of a joke.
Why is so hard for a man to look a woman in the eyes?
Because her eyes aren't on her chest.
Oldie but a goodie.
"Your eyes aren't even on my eyes!"
That's because I'm offering this silent prayer:
"I give Thee thanks, O Lord, for granting me, Thy humble servant, this vision of the glory of Thy creation, and of some of the beautiful things which Thou hast made!"
And I know people that the opposite was true.
The fact is that it really shouldn't BE AN ISSUE! If women want to breastfeed then GO AHEAD!
if they want to bottle feed then GO AHEAD!
It should be the parents choice and it shouldn't concern anyone else! Why do we, as a society, insist on making a WAR about such a stupid subject??
I breastfed my kids, I can sit here and tell you that I believe it made them smarter, more talented people but how the heck would I ever really know that?? How do I know that they wouldn't be just as healthy and smart if they had been on a bottle??
The real problem in this issue are the people on both sides who want to force the other side to see things THEIR way! The people who want to turn this into a "my way or the highway" kind of issue.
That's so a shame. I think a lot of people don't realize how hard it is to breastfeed. It doesn't come as naturally as one would think. Especially because so many in my generation were not breastfed.
I had such a hard time once I got home from the hospital. It got to a point where both me and my daugther were crying, trying to make it work. The worst part is I tried calling a lactation consultant twice and they never returned my calls.
But, I'd made the commitment and had luckily bought a pump before I left the hospital. And luckily, Mr. elc is very supportive.
And as it turns out, there are upsides to pumping. He gets to share night feedings with me and I have lots of milk stored so I can enjoy some coctails sometimes.
Just realized that first part came out a bit wrong. Not a shame that she gave up, because it is her choice, but a shame that it was difficult for her.
The thing that annoys me is the folks that don't give the question careful consideration. It's an important decision, it should be given some thought, not just be a throwaway "oh I don't want to worry about it when I go back to work."
I acquired a taste for dark beer and stout while nursing - recommendation of the pediatrician :)
Telling her all of that did no good........and I used a pump, it was really easy.
Oh well. she made her choice and I made mine.........her son and my daughter are both 8 now, and both are in the gifted student programs at their respective schools---which goes to show the idea of intelligence is probably more genetic than anything.