Breastfeeding for 6 months or more predicts better educational outcomes

The researchers hypothesized that longer periods of breastfeeding would predict better educational outcomes in middle childhood.

Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study used a cohort of 2900 women who were enrolled at 18 weeks' gestation. At 10 years of age, data from 1038 children were linked to standardized mathematics, reading, writing, and spelling scores.

10-year-old children who were predominantly breastfed for 6 months or longer in infancy had higher academic scores than children who were breastfed for less than 6 months.

Predominant breastfeeding for 6 months or longer was positively associated with academic achievement in children at 10 years of age. However, the effectiveness of breastfeeding differed according to gender; the benefits were only evident for boys.

Breastfeeding Duration and Academic Achievement at 10 Years. PEDIATRICS Vol. 127 No. 1 January 2011, pp. e137-e145 (doi:10.1542/peds.2009-3489)

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