Infants that are fed only with breast milk for the first six months of life have fewer behavioral problems between the seventh and eleventh year of life, and consequently later in life, says a study which results are published in the American scientific journal Plos Medicine.
The study conducted in South Africa at 1,500 healthy children of which 900 were exclusively breastfed. Those children who are breastfed in the first six months, a period that is recommended by pediatricians, had 56 percent less risk of developing behavior problems in early elementary school than those who thus fed less than a month, the researchers found.
“Feeding exclusively with breast milk is more important than previously thought, and that for several aspects of child development,” said Thames Roshan Durban, lead author of the study.
Behavioral problems in childhood can lead to aggressive and antisocial behavior. It affects learning and relationships with loved ones, and can lead to problems with self-esteem and mental health. All thatt can result in professional failure later in life, explains Rocha.
The study also showed that children who go to nursery at least one year are 74 percent more likely to better mental function.
Also, children that have a good intellectual stimulation at home, such as various games, have 36 percent more opportunities for better functioning of the brain.