Nutrients or nursing? Understanding how breast milk feeding affects child cognition

Purpose. To explore the associations between type of milk feeding (the “nutrients”) and mode of breast milk feeding (the “nursing”) with child cognition.

Methods. Healthy children from the GUSTO (Growing Up in Singapore Toward healthy Outcomes) cohort participated in repeated neurodevelopmental assessments between 6 and 54 months. For “nutrients”, we compared children exclusively bottle-fed according to the type of milk received: formula only (n = 296) vs some/all breast milk (n = 73). For “nursing”, we included only children who were fully fed breast milk, comparing those fed directly at the breast (n = 59) vs those fed partially/completely by a bottle (n = 63).

Conclusions. Our findings suggest that nutrients in breast milk may improve general child cognition, while nursing infants directly at the breast may influence memory.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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