What New Moms Need to Know About the Long-Term Benefits of Breastfeeding
There are many known benefits to breastfeeding your child, but a new study is challenging the actual longevity of those benefits. And the results are not what we were expecting.
Recently published in the journal Pediatrics, the study evaluated nearly 8,000 Irish children when they were 3 and 5 years old to learn more about the impact of breastfeeding on their cognitive and noncognitive development in the long run. For these assessments, the parents were asked to provide information about their children's vocabulary and problem-solving skills. At age 5, the children's teachers were also asked to provide input on these factors.
Although the researchers found that kids who were breastfed for six months or longer had better problem-solving skills at age 3, they discovered that these differences were trivial by the time they reached age 5. This interesting result suggests that the short-term benefits of breastfeeding don't necessarily transition along with the child as they grow older and enter school.
Whether you choose to breastfeed your child is of course entirely up to you, but this new research is definitely something to consider when making that decision.