In fact, a study also showed just how breastfeeding helps increase a child’s IQ after 10 years. Milk’s bioactive elements and essential fatty acids help develop a child’s brain and the central nervous system.
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But what about the manner by which moms feed and how frequent they feed their baby, whether using breast milk or formula?
A study published in the European Journal of Public Health reveals that feeding baby on demand rather than on a schedule helps him perform better academically. The researchers from the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex and at the University of Oxford studied the results of IQ tests and SAT tests of around 10,000 children between five and 14 years old. The IQ scores of eight-year-old children who were fed on demand as babies were significantly higher than those who were fed on a schedule.
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Feeding on demand also had high association with better IQ scores at age five, seven, 11 and 14, the study notes.
Despite the findings, more research is still needed before claiming causality between feeding on demand and IQ, says Maria Iacovou. “We cannot definitively say why these differences occur, although we do have a range of hypotheses. This is the first study to explore this area and more research is needed to understand the processes involved,” she stresses.