Children who were breast-fed exclusively for the first three months of life or longer scored nearly six points higher on IQ tests at the age of 6 than children who weren't breast-fed exclusively, a new study has found.
The finding buttresses previous research that has suggested that children and adults who were breast-fed as infants scored better on IQ tests and other measures of cognitive development, such as thinking, learning and memory, the study authors said.
"Long and exclusive breast-feeding makes kids smarter," said lead researcher Dr. Michael S. Kramer, of
When the children were 6.5 years old they were given a standard IQ test. Those children who were exclusively breast-fed scored, on average, 7.5 points higher in verbal intelligence, 2.9 points higher in nonverbal intelligence, and 5.9 points higher in overall intelligence.
In addition, their teachers said the breast-fed children had significantly better academic performance in both reading and writing, compared with children who weren't breast-fed exclusively.
Kramer thinks women should breast-feed exclusively for at least three, and if they can, six months, and try to continue breast-feeding for at least a year.
SOURCES: Michael S. Kramer, M.D., McGill University, and Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal; Ruth Lawrence, M.D., professor, pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, N.Y., and member, executive committee, section on breast-feeding, American Academy of Pediatrics; May 2008 Archives of General Psychiatry
So all mothers out there get your boobs busy!