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Breastfeeding Enhances Attentiveness

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 11:17

Breastfeeding significantly increases short-term attentiveness in 4- to 6- month olds, according to an article in the journal Developmental Psychobiology.  Investigators outfitted 13 infants with limb movement detectors. The youngsters were watched for a 4-minute period while a mechanical mobile was switched on and off at 1-minute intervals. The babies were studied on two different days. On one day they were observed following breastfeeding, while on another day they were tested before they were breastfed.

Investigators noted that, while the breastfeeding did not influence limb activity, it did appear to heighten attentiveness. Specifically, the infants looked at the mobile significantly longer after they breastfed.  The study's authors concluded that breastfeeding has a significant impact on infants' attentiveness and interaction with their environment.

Gerrish CJ, Mennella JA.   Short-term influence of breastfeeding on the infants' interaction with the environment   Dev Psychobiol 2000 (Jan);   36 (1):   40-48