Breastfeeding Really Does Make Babies Smarter


smart babySo 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



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tuffy... tuffymama

Without a doubt, I believe it. I have my own two nerdlets as examples, and my all friends who breastfed their kids for any real length of time have smartypants kids.

nonmember avatar Cee

Of course! Theres millions of bottle fed children getting Fs as we speak and all breast fed kids are being accepted to Harvard *sarcasm* I wish The Stir would STOP posting breast feeding stuff for a year and let mothers choose!

lissa... lissalynn83

I don't think breastfeeding (or not breastfeeding) has the final say-so on intelligence. I was formula fed and I am more intelligent than my cousin, who was breastfed. I got the higher SAT scores, was in the honors (advanced placement) classes, and just generally did better than her at everything. Not bragging about myself, but I just can't help but to think there are so many other factors involved....not just what the person was fed as a baby.

ChicH... ChicHippie

From my experience this is generally the norm, yes! My son is currently months ahead of his formula-fed playgroup peers as far as milestones ..and he has a brain injury so I'm very proud of everything he accomplishes! Very glad I'm able to do this for him.

nonmember avatar Stacy

While I believe breastfeeding has many benefits, I highly doubt that in of itself it will change a child's intelligence. I believe other biological factors are more important, as well as other environmental ones. Basically, while it may well help brain development, I think it would be shortsighted and most likely incorrect to say breastfeeding alone makes "smarter" babies.

Stacey. Stacey.

No and I highly disagree that social status has nothing to do with it. Look at third world countries where breastfeeding is the only option and hardly any education opportunities. Outside factors have a ton to do w/ how smart we are.

SandM... SandMsMama

yay for breastfeeding!

dandk... dandksmom321

I think many formula fed babies are just as smart and/or smarter than breastfed babies.  My formula fed 1st born walked @ 7 months, spoke in sentences by 1 year and now in school has been known to be the smartest kid in his class 3 years running- all his classmates tell me Devis knows everything cause he is a genius. Lol   Breastfeeding is awesome, but it is not the be-all-end-all.

dandk... dandksmom321

Also my cousin breastfed both babies for over 2 years each and her children are both as dumb as a box of rocks.

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