Thursday, May 08, 2008

My Mommy's Smarter Than Your Mommy!

A recent study came out that found babies who are exclusively and extendedly breastfed are smarter than those who aren't.

About 14,000 babies were followed for 6 1/2 years, and were found to have IQs that were 5 percent higher and did better academically.

But wait. There's more.

Seems there's some discussion on whether it's the actual breast milk that makes the kids smarter, or if it's that smarter women choose to breastfeed - oh, and are also more likely to read to their children and spend quality time with them.

And I quote:

"Mothers who breast-feed or those who breast-feed longer or most exclusively are different from the mothers who don't," Dr. Michael Kramer of McGill University in Montreal and the Montreal Children's Hospital said in a telephone interview.

"They tend to be smarter. They tend to be more invested in their babies. They tend to interact with them more closely. They may be the kind of mothers who read to their kids more, who spend more time with their kids, who play with them more," added Kramer, who led the study published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry."

I'm sure adoptive parents just love this. And those who wanted to breastfeed but couldn't (let's see, does that ring any bells, like maybe...ME?!?!). Or those who simply chose not to.

See, women are already divisive enough about this issue and plenty of others (work? daycare? homeschool?). We apparently like to compete to see who's the better Mommy, because it's a contest and just doing the best you can to get through each day is just NOT ENOUGH!

So I'm really appreciative to this man for pointing out that clearly only morons don't breastfeed. I mean, I see nothing wrong with how I take care of my kids. What? Is it a problem they are now watching their seventh consecutive hour of TV while chugging Kool Aid and eating twinkies dipped in mayo? Sheesh! At least they're not stabbing the dogs with scissors!

At least, that's what I think they're doing. I'm down the street blogging from my local tavern while doing body shots off some guy in a cowboy hat and spurs.

But I digress. To extrapolate that breastfeeding is a mark of being an attentive, interactive parent is, frankly, astonishing. It also means that women in many third world countries, where forumla is too expensive and water too contaminated, leading to exclusive and extending nursing - there's a reason why many children there are nursing til they're 4, or even 7 - are brilliant, amazing parents.

Of course some of them are. But I'm guessing a lot aren't. Because the study didn't appear to take into consideration the socio-economic standing of the mother. More money often means more education. And more access to prenatal care. And more chances to read stuff and be continously blasted, through the magic of marketing, with the message that BREAST IS BEST!!!

Yeah. We know. We're not disputing that. But for those of us who couldn't or didn't breastfeed, believe me, we already have enough guilt. We don't need to hear from yet another study that we're not good mothers because of it.

Read the entire story here.


Suzanne said...

Well Put! I wasn't sure at first where you were going with this...I agree with you 100% I didn't breast feed. I tried, really (don't yell at me lactation coach) but by the time my milk...blah didn't work for me. I felt like a failure right out of the gate. I do love my kids! I swear!

"...doing body shots off some guy in a cowboy hat and spurs...' the only way to blog. What? Oh, I'm kidding too, I don't really do that either.

I am loving your blog!

Moms Makin' Cents said...

AMEN!!! Great post, Cheryl. I didn't breasfeed either. And, I don't think my kids have suffered for it any way. In fact, my argument would be quite the contrary. My formula-fed 3-year-old is READING. Chew on that, Dr. Kramer.

Marcy said...

SOOOOO TRUE...every last word. I hate all this pressure for moms. It is as if none of us are EVER good enough....what is their problem? Opps I gotta run , the male dancers just arrived and I havn't even even made the margaritas yet!

Melissa said...

Thank you for this post Cheryl. I read this article a few days ago and wanting to choke the f---ing dr.'s involved in this "study". I am happy to see that you were able to respond to this study so much more eloquently than I ever could have dreamed of. I've been so mad since I read it, I didn't even try to blog about it. Well... I've also been busy doing body shots with cowboys. That seems to help a little!

You Rock!

Cheryl said...

Welcome all new posters! I am happy to make room at the bar for all of you! ;)

My kids ended up being allergic to b/m (tho the fanatics will tell you there's no such thing and I was just too selfish/wasn't trying hard enough/etc.) which put a damper on the experience. No guilt there! lol

Melissa - Knew you'd appreciate this one!

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