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Could breastfeeding help children perform better on standardized tests?

MONDAY, JANUARY 10, 2011 18:15 PM

Parents who are trying to come up with the best solutions for ensuring that their newborn babies grow up to have stronger cognitive abilities may want to consider opting for breastfeeding over formula feeding.

According to a new study published in Pediatrics, children who are breastfed for more than six months went on to have higher test scores in school, WebMD reports.

The study found that children who were breastfed for six months or longer scored higher on spelling tests, as well as standardized math, writing and reading exams by age 10. However, the researchers noted that this trend was specifically prevalent in boys.

"In actual fact, the benefits to boys of breastfeeding seem to be quite significant," the study's author, Dr. Wendy H. Oddy, who is an associate professor at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, in Perth, Australia, told the news provider. "If they were breastfed for more than six months, they did much better in math, reading, writing, spelling, and all the subjects."

Additionally, associations between education and breastfeeding duration was estimated using models such as gender, family income early stimulation through reading and other maternal factors.