This Article is From Jun 06, 2023

Breastfeeding Babies For Longer Linked To Better Test Scores, Study Finds

Researchers have found the longer babies are breastfed, the better they perform on standardized assessment tests as adolescents.

Breastfeeding Babies For Longer Linked To Better Test Scores, Study Finds

The study suggests that breastfeeding may impact a child's test scores.

A new study based on research done on children shows babies who breastfeed longer could see better academic performances in years later as adolescents.

A total of 5,000 British children were studied from early 2000s infancy through high school for the Millennium Cohort Study, which was released on Monday in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

According to Dr. Renee Pereyra-Elias, a researcher at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, "It found that the longer children were breastfed, the better they performed on standardised assessment tests".

As per a News Release, the authors said their findings were nationally representative for children enrolled in state schools in England and the large sample size allowed them to detect outcome differences between several breastfeeding duration groups.

They had also taken into account the confounding effects of several markers of family-level and area-level socioeconomic status and maternal intelligence.

"Breastfeeding duration was associated with improved educational outcomes at age 16 among children living in England, after controlling for important confounders," the study said in conclusion.

"Breastfeeding should continue to be encouraged when possible, as potential improvements in academic achievement constitute only one of its potential benefits. Future studies should adjust for both socioeconomic circumstances (comprehensively) and maternal general intelligence."

The study had some limitations in that it was not possible to link the National Pupil Dataset for approximately 4,000 children because they were lost to follow-up or did not consent, while a further 1,292 children were not followed up to age 14, when maternal cognitive ability was measured.