Breast Milk Linked to Better Development of Brain and Higher IQs


Published Date : Aug 01, 2016

As per a new study, which studied 180 pre-terms infants till seven years of age starting from their birth, concluded that infants who were given more breast milk in the 1st twenty eight days of their birth had bigger volumes in particular areas of their brain. These infants also have better IQs, working memory, motor function, and academic achievement. The same finding got published on July 29, Friday, in The Journal of Pediatrics. 

Researchers have also studied the infants that were born prior to thirty weeks gestation enrolled in Victorian Infant Brain Studies starting from year 2001 to 2003. These researchers analyzed the count of days these infants received breast milk. In addition, the data pertaining to the regional brain volumes evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has also been taken into consideration. Furthermore, the mathematics, working memory, reading, attention, motor testing, visual perception of these children at the age of seven have also been considered. 

As per these findings, amongst all babies, the infants who had majorly received breast milk for most part of this period during hospitalization had bigger volume of deep nuclear gray matter, which is an essential areas for transmitting and processing neural signals to other brain parts by the age of seven. These children also acquired better performance capabilities in motor function tests, working memory, mathematics, and IQ. All in all, the ingestion of more milk by breastfeeding was thus linked to better volumes of brains at both infant age and at the age of 7. 

There have also been few limitations linked to this study and the top most amongst them was that this study was on observational basis. In addition, factors such as more maternal care and a number of other aspects related to infant care have also not been taken into consideration. It has also been pointed that the employment of MRI techniques in future studies can deploy more particular ways in which the intake of breast milk is affecting the function and structure of the brain.