Research has discovered how breastfeeding boosts your baby’s brain – a carbohydrate in breast milk has a positive impact on neurodevelopment…

Previous animal studies found that a carbohydrate, known as the oligosaccharide 2’FL, in maternal milk positively influences neurodevelopment.

Now investigators at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of California, San Diego found that 2’FL found in breast milk enhances human cognitive development too.

Why the first month of breastfeeding matters

The study included 50 mothers and their babies. The investigators analysed breast milk composition and frequency of feeding at one and six months of age.

Cognitive development was measured at 24 months using the Bayley-III scale, a standardised test of infant and toddler development.

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The study showed that the amount of 2’FL in breast milk in the first month of feeding was related to significantly higher cognitive development scores in babies by two years of age.

The amount of 2’FL in breast milk at six months of feeding was not related to cognitive outcomes, indicating that early exposure may be more beneficial.

5 Benefits of breastfeeding – for moms and babies

Many studies have reported a positive effect of breastfeeding on cognitive development.

This enhanced cognitive development in the first two years of life raises the question of possible long term impact on a child – in school and beyond,” says Paige Berger, PhD, RD, a postdoctoral research associate at CHLA and the first author of the study.

Source: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles via www.sciencedaily.com

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