Brain benefits of breastfeeding for boys

Photo credit: Jason Carter- gulp via Flickr
Photo credit: Jason Carter- gulp via Flickr

Having breastfeed 4 boys, I felt like my body was on loan for many years…between being pregnant and breastfeeding (both of which I enjoyed), my body was not my own.

The recent news about the benefits boys incur as a result of having been breastfed however make me feel even better about my choice and commitment to breastfeed them. I know, reports vary from day to day. I know, you never know what to believe…but I would like to believe this one so I’ll assume it’s true.

So here’s what it said:

According tot he Medpage Today website, “Breast feeding for at least six months has been associated with enhanced immunity and other benefits for children — but a prospective study from Australia suggests breast feeding may also yield academic benefits later in a child’s life, at least for boys.

The study, which followed almost 3,000 children from birth onward, found those who were predominantly breast fed for six months or longer had significantly higher scores on standardized tests of reading, math, and spelling at age 10 compared with kids breast fed for shorter periods, according to Wendy Oddy, PhD, of Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth in Western Australia, and colleagues.

However, the effects on those test scores appeared to be much stronger for boys than for girls, Oddy and co-authors reported online in Pediatrics.

Yippee!

Did you breastfeed? If so, for how long? If not, why? Would you change your decision if you could go back?

6 thoughts on “Brain benefits of breastfeeding for boys”

  1. I breastfed my oldest (now 5) for 2.5 years, and am currently breastfeeding my youngest at 9.5 months. I am thrilled with my decision, and would not change it regardless of any study outcomes. Breastfeeding provies many benefits for health and well being of mother and baby, as well as for others. A breastfeeding mother produces “mothering” hormones in the air that can calm and induce mothering instincts in others, too. Breastfeeding reduces mom’s risk of some cancers, reduces the risk for obesity in the child, and increases attachment, which is more important than most people know. Not to mention that it is the best tool a mom can have at her ready disposal any time of day or night in any place to comfort, soothe, heal, and reassure a hurt, scare, or simply unhappy child. Is it sometimes an inconvenience to mom? Sure. Do I sometimes feel like I would just like 10 minutes to myself when I’m not being touched? Sure. But would I give it up or change it? Not on your life!

  2. I breastfeed my 1st son for 7 months (he is now almost 4) and I am planning on breastfeeding my 2nd son (6 days old) for at least 7 mo as well. I wish I could have breastfeed my 1st longer but I was unable to pump enough to keep up with his needs and work. And I have to work. I am hoping I can make it to 7 mo with my 2nd boy if not longer. If I could change anything I would want to breastfeed both of my boys for a year.

    I love all of the benefits, especially the closeness a mother gets from breastfeeding their baby. 🙂

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