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A recent study has linked breastfeeding to a higher IQ. So, if you needed more reason to breastfeed beyond the peer pressure, Joint Commission encouragement, immediate economic benefits, convenience and ability to bond with your baby, here's another one.
I'll also do you one better the study also attributes long term breastfeeding to higher wages and more education. That means if you breastfeed you breastfeed your babies longer they will be more likely to earn more money, which means that they will leave your house as adults. As someone who is breastfeeding her second child right now it pains me to think of my children leaving the house ever. However, I know that feeling will change in about 18 years.
Here's a link to an article discussing the study in detail, Breastfeeding 'linked to higher IQ'
Support breastfeeding, the health benefits are real
Please do not send me hate messages about how some women cannot breastfeed or how you didn't breastfeed and your kids are fine. I recognize that some women are unable to breastfeed. Some women in my own family were unable to do so. If you are/were one of those women I understand and do not judge you, despite what happened to the woman that wrote that popular Washington Post article last year. To read it, click here.
That said, breastfeeding as a public health issue is bigger than the challenges experienced by a subset of women. People with certain medical conditions are unable to eat green leafy vegetables. Despite that, we tend to accept the general message which is that people should eat their vegetables especially the green leafy kind because they lots of health benefits. People say, "eating vegetables is good for you" and nobody bats an eye or goes into lengthy explanations about how they know somebody who can't eat them and so we shouldn't encourage everyone else to eat them.
The same is true of breastfeeding. If you are the exception, feed your baby formula without apology. However, do not criticize those who are proponents of breastfeeding. It has lots of health benefits.
Are you a working mom struggling with how to work and breastfeed? If so, let me know.