Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Breastfeeding v boys’ brains?

Dr Wendy H Oddy. a specialist in infant nutrition, has found that breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life is associated at age 10 with higher scores in standardised tests for maths, reading, writing and spelling, but only for boys.

The research team followed over a thousand children from before birth to about age 10, when the tests were conducted. Boys whose mother had breastfed for 6 months or more did better on each of the 4 tests, with additional improvement for each extra month they were breastfed.

Girls did not show this linkage. The researchers speculated this might be due to neuro-protective effects of estradiols, which are naturally higher in girls. However, they could not rule out that breastfeeding might simply lead to a better mother-baby bond, with boys known to be more dependent on this.

Dr Oddy also found that lower maternal education and family income were significantly associated with decreased child academic achievement.

Further, reading and looking at books with the child between ages 3 and 5 were associated with improved scores for reading and writing, particularly when it came to girls.


December 20, 2010 - Posted by | Brain, Diet, Learning, Success, Wendy H Oddy

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