Monday, May 5, 2008

More Benefits of Breastfeeding

Here's the latest from ABC:

"Could breastfeeding babies help their mental development? A new study on 14,000 Belarusian children suggests the answer could be yes. Half of the mothers in the study were encouraged to breastfeed, while the other half received no special encouragement.

Follow up tests on the children at 6 years showed the breastfed group averaged about six points higher in IQ. However, the pediatricians performing the IQ tests knew ahead of time which children were breastfed, a potential source of bias. When a subset of kids was tested independently, the difference in IQ was just 3 points in favor of the breastfed children.

Doctors say this improved mental function, on top of boosting immunity and reducing allergy risk, is just one more good reason to breastfeed. But skeptics still question whether the IQ difference is real - or even whether it matters much. Evaluations from the children's teachers showed both group performed slightly above grade level in reading, writing and arithmetic - no matter how they were fed as infants. "

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Maria said...

I am a die hard lactivist, but even I have questions. Especially after I read this:

MSNBC quotes researcher Dr. Michael Kramer from McGill University in Montreal, Canada:

“It could even be that because breast-feeding takes longer, the mother is interacting more with the baby, talking with the baby, soothing the baby,” he said. “It could be an emotional thing. It could be a physical thing. Or it could be a hormone or something else in the milk that’s absorbed by the baby.”

Beyond the reasons listed there, I wonder about the socio-economic factors and makeup of the groups and how that might have influenced the outcome.

Why are we intent to proving the benefits of nursing rather than proving/pointing out the problems with formula? I realize that people are trying to sell (i.e. good p.r.) breastfeeding, but it is frustrating to no end! said...

I did have a newly pregnant friend tell me she has not decided whether or not she is going to breastfeed. I think that's part of why we see so much on proving breastdfeeding is important.. to try and change the frame of mind. That's just a thought...

Maria said...

I see that side, but if breastfeeding is the norm and formula is attacked as being a last resort, we wouldn't need to fight for the benefits of breastfeeding. Formula would be the lesser of two evils (eating vs not), but inferior to breastmilk. The whole situation is frustrating... Breastfeeding might not be right for every mother, but it is right for baby.

Edgar said...

Just wanted to second what Maria said... I completely agree!

Shannon said...

Sorry... posted under my husband's name again. (But I'm sure he would agree too! LOL!)

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