Studies show differences of 5 to 10 IQ points between children breast-fed as babies and children who were formula-fed. The Mortensen study cited below compared a variety of studies on intelligence, adjusting for the effects of other possible factors such as parents’ level of education, mothers’ smoking, and infant birth weight. Recent discoveries about docosohexanoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA), both of which occur naturally in human milk, and the role they play in the development of the infant’s brain provide clues to one possible cause of this difference.
Mortensen, E.L., et al. The association between duration of breastfeeding and adult intelligence. JAMA 2002; 28(15): 2365-71.
Xiang, M. et al. Long chain polyunsat-urated fatty acids in human milk and brain growth during early infancy. Acta Paediatr 2000; 89(2): 142-47.
From The Importance of Breastfeeding
La Leche League International
Breastfeeding is a unique process that:
Provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their healthy growth and development Reduces incidence and severity of infectious diseases, thereby lowering infant morbidity and mortality Contributes to women's health by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and by increasing the spacing between pregnancies Provides social and economic benefits to the family and the nation Provides most women with a sense of satisfaction when successfully carried out…
Full UNICEF Declaration.