Breastfeeding and Brain Development

This is a guest post. The author, Robbie is a writer for HealthListed and mother to one adventurous 2-year old. She enjoys watching her daughter explore and learn new things daily. She has a passion for developing a child’s strengths to make them the best person they can be.

baby breastfeedingThe Inseparable Link of Brain Development and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and child development have long been thought to go hand in hand and recent studies have supported this fact. Breastfeeding from birth into a child’s early years can greatly help their brain development and give your child a fantastic head start in their life.

While much of the research done does involve a lot of technical terms and jargon, I’ve compiled a list of the main reasons why breastfeeding is great for brain development in infants.

Smart Fats

One of the most talked about aspects of this research is how breast milk contains a fat called DHA. DHA is a “smart” fat that greatly helps brain development. The longer you breastfeed, the more DHA your child will receive.

And by adding DHA to your own diet, you can greatly increase the quality of your breast milk. Foods that are rich in DHA include fish, eggs, and meat. They contain 10 to 100 times more DHA than non-marine foods such as nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables. Although it is good to keep a healthy serving of these in your diet as well.

Breast milk Contains Cholesterol

Cholesterol has been found to be beneficial for babies developing brain and breast milk contains a portion of it. Cholesterol helps nerve tissues develop in a babies brain. This is just another added benefit of breastfeeding your child.

Breastfeeding Helps Vital Areas Of The Brain Grow

A study conducted by Brown University observed a number of breastfed children who were under age 4. These children had been breastfed since birth. An MRI showed that several parts of their brain developed more than those children who were not breastfed. Cognitive function and language are two of the main areas that showed increased development.

Another area of the brain that was shown to have increased development was the area where emotional development happens.

The benefits of breastfeeding not only create a special bond between mother and child, but is linked to enhanced brain development and cognitive functions.


1 thought on “Breastfeeding and Brain Development”

  1. It’s great that we have such a great resource in breastfeeding. I know sometimes it can be challenging, but besides brain development, bonding with baby and getting back into pre-pregnancy shape are other added benefits.

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