A new prospective cohort study performed in Massachusetts examined the relationship between breastfeeding duration and child’s cognition at ages three and seven years. Study included 1,312 pregnant women from April 22, 1999 to July 31, 2002 and followed their children up to age of seven years. At age three, children who were breastfed for longer time period did better on language test. At age seven, children who were breastfed for longer time period did much better on intelligence tests which included reading and writing. Breastfeeding also has other benefits including lowering risk of eczema, ear and stomach infections in young children. A question was raised on whether mother’s intellectual level played a role in children’s intelligence, but this study showed the association of breastfeeding with intellectual development while controlling those parameters. How often do you discuss the length of breastfeeding with patients who are new mothers?
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