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Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding and IQ

05/04/2001

Question:

Will breastfeeding effect my baby`s IQ?

Answer:

The literature regarding breastfeeding and IQ has conflicting results. There seems to be a thread that breast-fed children score higher on tests of cognitive function, but the cause for these higher scores is unknown. Cognitive develop is complex and is affected by multiple factors including genetic and environmental and the interaction between these factors at a specific point in time. Breastfed low birth weight infants have a greater increase in cognitive development scores than formula fed low birth weight infants. Breastfed low birth weight infants increase was also greater than breastfed full term infants. In addition some of the literature states that the differences are significant while others do not. The best advice is breastfeed your infant because it is best for your baby`s health, don`t do it to just try and have a smarter baby.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati