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Breastfeeding and Infant Brain Development

Breastfeeding and Infant Brain Development

 

As we bring the breastfeeding week to a close, we thought it wise to delve into one of the major importance of breastfeeding and its relation to your child’s brain development and intelligence quotient (IQ).

You may be wondering as to what really is in this breastfeeding issue that a whole week had to be dedicated to creating awareness and encouraging an army of breastfed babies. Well, overtime, breastfeeding has proven without any doubt to have enormous benefits, not just on a short term like reducing your baby’s chances of getting certain illnesses such as ear infections, respiratory and gastric infections but in the long run enhance their cognitive function in later stages of life.

Cognitive function is a broad term used to describe all the complex activities carried out by the brain ranging from attention to memory, judgment, problem-solving skills and so on. It encompasses all that the brain is required to do from cradle, through the developmental milestones, school years and basically the whole of life’s journey, therefore making breastfeeding a topic that needs to be encouraged and emphasized.

According to WHO, of the most effectual ways to guarantee both the quality of a child’s health and improve survival, is through breastfeeding. Various other bodies of research have also been able to identify numerous positive relationships between breastfeeding and brain development and some have even extensively examined the difference between babies/children that were breastfed and those that were not.

Importance of breast milk to brain development

  1. Improves your child’s ability to remember things: breast milk is a great memory retention enhancer, as your child transitions through the school years, his/her ability to retain information from class, while studying and others becomes a great need.
  2. Improves language skills: have you seen people who can speak fluently and easily learn new languages and wonder what makes it easy for them? Breast milk has been proven to be a good contributor to this skill.
  3. Brings out the star in your child: everyone desires to be a parent of a smart and intelligent child, not just in the classroom but across all spheres of life and breast milk has been qualified to be a good ingredient for improved intelligence.
  4. Helps reduce the potentials of your child of experiencing cognitive setbacks and impairment as he/she grows.
  5. Assists your children navigate through the developmental stages with little or no difficulties.
  6. It is an important factor in your baby’s growth as it has a significant impact on the growth and maturity of your baby’s developing brain.

Having seen the unlimited benefits and potentials of breast milk, coupled with it being loaded with amazing components like antibodies, stem cells, enzymes, good bacteria and a few others, do note that breast milk is not the only element your baby’s brain needs and breastfed babies do fall sick as well at one point or the other. But breastfeeding them even while sick has greater benefits, as its safety features come into effect.

So here you have it and if you’ve followed our previous post and video, you’d see why so much attention is paid to breastfeeding.

For enquiries and more information, be free to hit the comment section and we’ve got you.

Written By:
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi, BSc. Nur., MA, Healthcare Mgt.
Health & Wellness Advocate,
HCI Healthcare HMO

Image sources
@premiumtimesng @istock

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