Breastfeeding May Boost IQs of Kids

Study of 14K children reports modest gains in intelligence
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2008 2:03 PM CDT
Mothers are seen breastfeeding their babies during the synchronized breastfeeding worldwide event in Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007.    (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
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(Newser) – Kids who are breastfed tend to be smarter than their formula-fed peers, a major new study says. At age 6, children who were breastfed longer scored higher on IQ tests, though researchers couldn't say whether it was the breast milk itself or stronger interaction with mothers that caused the modest gains. The study in Belarus followed 14,000 children, WebMD reports.

"Prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding makes kids smarter," said the lead researcher. "I would say as a target for mothers, if they could exclusively breastfeed for three months and continue to breastfeed for some degree for one year, that would be good."