MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Research suggests that mothers who breastfeed are helping their babies’ brain development.
A study in the Journal of Pediatrics showed that a new connection between breastfed babies and higher motor and language skills at 14 months old.
A link between breastfeeding and brain development isn’t new, but factors, such as the mother’s education and income, were thought to play a role. This study shows the benefits are independent of those social factors.
Dr. Jessica Sessions said the benefits come from the milk’s chemical composition.
“[Scientists are] they’re looking at certain types of fatty acids that they think are making a positive impact on the baby’s brain,” Sessions said.
The study also found that a greater consumption of breast milk gave better results.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies receive only breast milk for the first six months of life.
Research already shows breastfeeding protects babies against infection, asthma and obesity.