DURBAN, South Africa – There is another good reason to breastfeed babies as a new study found out that exclusively breastfed children for at least the first six months of life behaves better as primary school students.
Hindustan Times mentioned in an article that the study, which was carried out in South Africa, assessed more than 1,500 children and found out that there is a strong connection between the duration a kid was breastfed and signs of behavioral disorders between the ages of seven and 11.
The result of the study said that those children who were fed only by breast milk for their first six months were found to be 56 percent less likely to exhibit behavioral disorders as compared to those breastfed for less than one month.
The World Health Organization highly suggest to exclusively breastfeed babies from birth until six months, and the results of the new study support the recommendation.
“The duration of exclusive breastfeeding of an infant has greater importance than previously realized in several areas of development,” said Tamsen Rochat of the Human Science Research Council in Durban.
Rochat, who is also the lead author of the study that was financed by the Canadian government, emphasized that childhood conduct disorders are associated with other problems when a kid grows up.
Such difficulties include social problems, which leads to violence and crime later in life, as well as poor long-term mental health and low academic achievement.
An article by CTV News said that the researchers also found that young children who attended daycare for at least one year were “74 percent more likely to achieve higher executive functions, enabling them to plan, concentrate and remember instructions.”
Executive functions are vital for the brain as those help in developing skills to prioritize tasks, filter out distractions and achieve goals.
Meanwhile, kids who only received stimulation at home were just 36 percent more likely to achieve high executive functions.
Furthermore, the study also considered some environmental factors that could influence child development. With that, the researchers said that children were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop behavioral problems if their mothers exhibit any signs of mental health issues or severe parenting stress.
The entire result of the study was published in the PLOS medical journal.