So that's why my kids are so smart! (Just kidding. I mean, they are smart, but that's not the point.) According to the results of yet another study on the benefits of breastfeeding, babies who are nursed show higher levels of mental development.
I know what you're thinking, Wait, didn't they already figure that one out? Well, kind of, but not really. There's a new twist this time ...
In the past, breastfeeding and brain development were linked, but social factors such as the mother's education and financial status were thought to be involved. This latest study shows that breastmilk boosts babies' brainpower all on its own, regardless of the mother's social status. And the more they nurse, the smarter they get.
Experts aren't sure why, but they think the fatty acids in breastmilk have something to do with its intelligence-enhancing capabilities. I would hope that when they do figure it out, better infant formulas will be developed as a result. (I know breast is best, but it's not always an option and those babies deserve their own smart juice!)
Anyway, this news makes me grateful -- for the millionth time -- that I was able to breastfeed my babies. Right? Doesn't it make the swollen, leaking boobs and the sleepless nights spent with a tiny little person vacuum-sealed to your nipple worth it? And the clogged milk ducts? (Gotta love those.) And pumping! Is there anything more fun than pumping??
Again, I'm just kidding. It was all worth it! (Really, just wait til those report cards start coming home.)
Do you think breastfed babies are smarter?
Image via Kim Dombrowski/Flickr