Study questions benefits of breastfeeding


MACON, Ga. -- Many might argue that breastfeeding a baby has long term positive effects on a child.

However, a study in the Journal of Pediatrics found that breastfeeding has little impact on long term development and behavior.

The study included about 8,000 Irish children and collected information from children's behaviors, expressive vocabulary and cognitive abilities at ages 3 and 5. It found that although children who were breastfed for six months had lower rates of hyperactivity and improved problem solving skills, there were no statistically significant differences observed between children who were breastfed and children who were not at age 5.

Despite the findings of this study, Dr. Mitch Rodriguez, director of the NICU unit at Coliseum Hospital in Macon, said that he is an advocate of breastfeeding for the benefits that it can bring to baby and mom.

He said that breastfeeding builds a natural bond between mothers and their children that can last a lifetime.

Lindsey Mote, a mother to a 3-year-old girl and a 3-month-old boy, agrees. She said breastfeeding her children gives her a bond with her children, in addition to saving money on formula.

More than that, Rodriguez said breastfeeding can help babies get the vitamins and nutrients that they need and can help premature babies help them grow and build strength.

Though some doctors disagree on the true benefits of breastfeeding, Rodriguez said it is ultimately up to the mother.

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