Breast feeding or bottle feeding: Which is better for your child?
If you want to get your child's brain working at its optimum level right from the start, consider the option of using mother's milk over formula feeding.
According to researchers at the Child Study Center at Yale University, moms who nurse their babies naturally have a higher chance of bonding with their infants than moms who use the bottle.
Researchers scanned the brains of mothers with month-old infants and found that when the mothers listened to clips of their babies crying, the moms who breast fed registered significantly more brain activity than their bottle feeding counterparts.
This highly activated brain activity is a sign that the mothers are more in tune with their infants. Feeding baby with mother's milk activates the release of oxytocin, known as the love or bonding hormone. This bonding is the catalyst for improved brain development in infants.
A study assessing 280 seven to eight year old children who had been born as low weight babies found that those who were given mother's milk showed significantly higher verbal IQ and performance IQ scores.
In fact, children who had been given the breast for eight months or more had average verbal scores that were 10.2 points and performance IQ scores that were 6.2 points higher than children who were bottle fed.This is a strong indication that feeding with the mother's milk promotes infant brain development.
have also demonstrated that breast fed infants showed earlier
development and maturation of some aspects of the nervous system than
babies given milk formulas.In fact, there seems to be some correlation
between breast milk and
For mothers who choose to breast feed, there are several long-term benefits as well:
* less risk of many forms of cancer
* 23% lower risk of coronary heart disease
* reduced risk of metabolic syndrome
* reduced risk of postpartum bleeding
* increased brain development and intelligence.
In case you are wondering, Fatherhood also develops the brain!
Dr. Mercola, "More Proof that Breast feeding Improves Long-term Brain Function." January 14 2001.
Khedr EM et al,"Neural Maturation of Breastfed and Formula-fed Infants." Acta Paediatr, 2004 Jun; 93(b):734-8.
Disclaimer: The above information is meant only to inform and should never displace professional consultation.
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