Miracle of Mother's Milk
It will make your baby healthier and smarter. There are lifelong benefits for you, too.
It can make your baby smarter
A 1999 analysis of 11 studies on childhood intelligence, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that full-term babies who were predominantly breastfed until at least 28 weeks of age gained three IQ points over infants who were formula-fed; preemies gained more than five points. “The available data suggest that a three- to five-point increase in IQ would significantly increase academic performance, decrease dropout rates and result in higher incomes and social adjustments,” says study author James W. Anderson, M.D., professor of medicine and clinical nutrition at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
And in 2002, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a long-term study that followed infants born in the late 1950s who were given IQ tests when they reached adulthood. The longer they had been breastfed as infants, the higher their IQs as adults, with a difference of seven points between those who were nursed for seven to nine months and those breastfed for less than one month.
By now, you should have no question that breast milk is one power-packed beverage. So as you begin planning for your baby’s future, make a commitment to nurse him for as long as you can. It will do both your bodies good.
(get that baby latched on right)
The most important part of breastfeeding is getting the correct latch. Here’s how:
> Position the baby on his side so he is directly facing you, with his belly touching yours. Next, prop up the baby with a pillow and hold him up to your breast; don’t lean over toward him.
> Place your thumb and fingers around your areola (see step 1).
> Tilt your baby’s head back slightly and touch him with your nipple just above his upper lip until he opens his mouth wide (step 2).
> Help him “scoop” the breast into his mouth by placing his lower jaw on first, well below the nipple (step 3).
> Tilt his head forward, placing his upper jaw deeply on the breast. Make sure he takes the entire nipple and at least a 1 1/2 -inch radius of the areola in his mouth (step 4).