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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Nursing News

Is there a mom on this earth who hasn't yet heard of the studies that suggest that those who were breastfed as infants show measurably higher IQ's than those who were not? I doubt it - and I'm sure there are guilt-ridden moms worldwide because of those studies. Well, now there actually seems to be some hard-to-refute proof that such a link exists. In the past, some have argued that the link between intelligence and breastfeeding was tenuous at best, as it's hard to exclude the importance of other intelligence-affecting factors that might go hand-in-hand with breastfeeding - higher economic status, for example. But this new study seems to have taken that into account, and the results do seem to point to a correlation between breastfeeding and higher IQ's - but the benefits only apply to those children with a certain genetic variant. Children who do not possess that genetic variant do not seem to get that intelligence boost from breastfeeding at all, according to the study.

In theory, this should make some non-breastfeeding mothers feel less guilty, as the 7-digit IQ boost is far from a slam dunk, and out of their hands - who knows if their kid is one of the lucky group with the gene variant? But I see it instead as yet one more aspect of parenting to feel guilty about - not only do we have to worry about whether we are adequately nursing our children to pass along the benefits, we have to worry about whether we have even passed on the genetic capability for our children to gain in intelligence from breastfeeding.

Argh.

15 Comments:

Blogger mother in israel said...

Why do moms need to feel guilty for not breastfeeding? Most mothers who wean early do so because of lack of proper information and support in the hospital and beyond. Presumably each mother does the best she can with the situation she has been dealt and with the resources she has available. There is no need to feel guilty. Even if there were, guilt in parenting serves no purpose.

If she hasn't been too traumatized by the experience, there is a lot a mother can do to ensure a good start with the next baby.

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My frist child I didn't make enough milk, so I had to supplement.
Then I thought am I crazy, pass the candy, I need a drink, I am done!!:)
Second child, had enough milk, now I wonder if I passed my allergies on to him. We do not have cats, I am highly allergic, asthmatic-so is he.
He has tested as allergic as I am,- my frist son, not.
Just more 'guilt'!
Frist son's IQ 137, second son, autism, he is doing wonderful now, years past he was a horror.
Either way breast feeding helps a woman's body,
Thank goodness for wet nurses of years past, some can make milk so easy, others.....uggggghhhh!!!

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

I nursed my twins for 3 months before, due to my genetic endocrine disorder, my prolactic crashed and I couldn't produce more milk no matter how I tried. Need I mention how guilty all the nursing moms made me feel?

And guess what, my kids turned 10 last weekend and one of them just got a NY State Distinguised Student Award for her grades in Science last year!

If you can nurse and want to I say, go for it. But gentle & loving mothering has no substitute.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not breast feed either child. My daughter has a documented IQ of 137, was 5 weeks preemie, and is a delight. My second daughter has more food allergies than food is dyslexic and a delight. My third is a little boy who is competely normal or average, has not issues and is a devil. If he would stop running maybe I can take a break!!!! I love all three, and I was not able to breast feed, go figure, so much for research.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Fern said...

7 IQ points is a significant change in intelligence. It could mean the difference between struggling to complete high school and obtaining a college degreee.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fern, nothing is ever that straightforward in life.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Struggling to complete high school and getting a college degree... hmm, wouldn't it be nice if aspirations for children were more about happiness, self-actualization (according to the child's actual self), and making a positive difference in other's lives/the world - rather than cookie cutter accreditations that often have more to do with the social and economic past of the parents than the future fulfillment of the kids?

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my frist son had a little breast milk, I couldn't keep up with his demand, doctor said you must supplement, his IQ 137, second son, breast feed until I had to take steriods, breathing problems, he has more allerges(like mom) and his IQ is no way near 115.
Soo.. go figure.
It is great when you can breast feed, however I can't stand the mom's YOUR NOT BREAST FEEDING???
here you take him for me then:):):)

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dunno, I think most differences in intelligence can be explained by other factors. I simply do not buy it. Too many really smart ppl were not breastfed and too many really unsmart (I know that is not a word, and I was breastfed, so much for my intelligence) people were.

Too many factors go into intelligence. I am not buying into it at all....

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first-born, I only nursed for about 6 weeks. He was ravenous and my milk was slow to come, very impatient baby/child....always has been, always will be. Very advanced infant & toddler. At age of 8, IQ of 137. Scores in 99.9th percentile of EVERYTHING. Just took ACT at age 13, scored over 20 in all areas, qualified for Duke Universtiy Talent Identification Program. He is as mean as a rattlesnake. 2nd child, breast-fed for 6 months. She did well. Very average infant/toddler. AVerage child, has to work to make all A's (11 years old), creative, pragmatic, and pleasant, but average. Now, my 3rd born: Breast-fed until 22 months old. He has been developmentally behind and still lags a little even though he is catching up. He is now 27 months and is still slightly behind in all areas of development. So, who REALLY knows?

1:43 PM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

Interesting actually I had never read about those topics and I could get good points of views, I was impressed with the last comment in here because what a experience she had.

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