breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Really Doesn’t Make Your Kid Smarter, New Study Says

Mother breastfeeding her baby in bedroom and liying on bed

For some reason, the breastfeeding wars never seem to end. Someone always swoops in with their opinion about what a new mom should do (breastfeed or not) and inevitably guilts you either way–whether you “aren’t breastfeeding” enough or doing it too much in public–the arguments are endless.

Well, now a new study just came out that says that nursing doesn’t have one positive effect that people assumed. Often times, proponents of breast milk usually cite studies saying that breast milk makes your kid smart. Well, apparently, all those benefits may not really exist–or matter all that much. According to a study recently published in Pediatrics, researchers surveyed 7,478 parents of Irish babies to analyze vocabulary, behavioral problems, and cognitive skills at age 3 and then again at age 5.

What they found is interesting: toddlers who were breastfed for at about six months had a slight advantage over formula-fed babies. However, these advantages seem to have lost their positive affects by the time the kids turned 5. This might help calm some parental nerves, since many moms feel guilty for not being able to breastfeed (whether it’s due to work, an inability, etc) as long as they want.

So, here’s my message: moms, stop feeling so guilty for not breastfeeding! Or for breastfeeding, but not enough! Just feed your kid the best you can! I implore you to celebrate with some Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream and Netflix (hello, “Santa Clarita Diet,” anyone?).

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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