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Babies Fed Breast Milk Smarter Than Premature Formula Counterparts - Less Bed Wetting and Brain Development Improvements

July 9th 2006

Babies Fed Breast Milk Smarter Than Premature Formula Counterparts - Less Bed Wetting and Brain Development Improvements


New research published in the July issue of Pediatrics finds that premature children fed breast milk in the hospital did better on tests of mental development later in life than did others fed only formula. The premature babies all weighed less than 2 pounds, 3 ounces.

The study involved 1,035 premature babies, some of which were born 3 months premature.  Of these babies, one quarter were fed only formula.  The researchers took into account many factors, including the parent’s income and education.  They found that on the average, the babies given breast milk scored higher on tests of mental development when they were 18 months old than the babies fed formula only. 


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that premature and other high-risk infants be fed breast milk.  Since the preemies had trouble suckling, medical personnel needed to feed the babies by tube or bottle.

This is believed to be the first study comparing breast milk and formula on premature newborn babies.  The researcher believe it is the fatty acids that benefit the babies, and that feeding the smallest babies breast milk could save money in  special education services.

A separate study found that children fed breast milk were less likely to become bed-wetters later in childhood.  The researchers believe that bed-wetting could be caused by a delay in neuro-development.  The researchers say that breast milk had no effect on rates of cerebral palsy, blindness or hearing problems.


The International Formula Council (IFC) says that “the AAP recommends that all infants weaned before 12 months of age should receive iron-fortified infant formula. Iron-fortified infant formula is the only safe and effective alternative to breast milk, providing complete nutrition to meet the unique needs of growing infants.”

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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM