(WXYZ) – An Irish study followed close to 7,500 babies comparing those who were breastfed for at least 6 months to those who weren’t.
When the children were 3 years old, researchers found those who were breastfed had lower rates of hyperactivity. They also had slightly better problem-solving skills. But those advantages faded when the children were 5 years of age.
This study did not find that breast-feeding provided a child with cognitive boost long-term. Children who are breast-fed tend to have better outcomes because many of their Moms are well-educated. And they don’t take part in risky behaviors during pregnancy like smoking. Breastfed babies do have lower risks of obesity, diabetes, respiratory and ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
1. Don’t smoke. It exposes your baby to nicotine and this can interfere with your child’s sleep. It also raises the risk of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
2. If you take medications, talk to your doctor to make sure they are safe for breastfeeding.
3. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Water, juice and milk are best. Be careful of caffeine as it may interfere with your baby’s sleep.
4. Eat a healthy diet. Chose fruits, vegetables and whole grains as these can help keep your energy levels up.
Breastfeeding has many benefits, but what matters most is nurturing the relationship between you and your child. It’s also important to respond to their cries, hold them, play with them. How you parent your child matters more than how you feed them.
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