UCLA researchers find ‘better cognitive performance’ in women over 50 who breastfed
A new study finds that breastfeeding may have long-term cognitive benefits for the mother.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles conducted a study that found that women over the age of 50 who breastfed their babies performed better on cognitive tests than women who had never breastfed.
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“While many studies have found that breastfeeding improves a child’s long-term health and well-being, our study is one of the very few that have looked at long-term health effects for women who breastfeed their babies,” Molly Granthshala, author of the study said News release.
“Our findings, which show improved cognitive performance among women over 50 who breastfeed, suggest that breastfeeding may be ‘neuroprotective’ later in life.”
the studyThe title, “Breastfeeding Women Exhibit Cognitive Benefits After Age 50,” asserts that the biological effects and psychosocial effects of breastfeeding, such as improved stress regulation, may bring long-term benefits to the mother’s brain.
“Since breastfeeding has also been found to help regulate stress, promote infant bonding and reduce the risk of postpartum depression, suggesting acute neurological benefits for the mother, we suspected that this would be beneficial in the long term.” May also be linked to better cognitive performance. Mom too,” Granthshala said.
Participants in the study, all women over the age of 50, completed a comprehensive battery of psychological tests measuring learning, delayed recall, executive functioning and processing speed. The results showed that those who breastfed at one point in their lives performed better in all four categories than women who did not.
The study also found that time spent breastfeeding was associated with better cognitive performance.
“Future studies will be needed to explore the relationship between women’s breastfeeding history and cognitive performance in larger, more geographically diverse groups of women. It is important for women to better understand the health effects of breastfeeding, Given that women today breastfeed less frequently and for shorter time periods that was historically practiced,” Granthshala said.