The benefits of breastfeeding babies have long been discussed. It was even revealed last year that breastfed babies could go on to earn more as adults.
Now, it has been revealed that how you feed your baby could have an affect on which hand they go on to use.
A recent study published by the University of Washington analysed 60,000 pairs of mothers and their children, taking note of their feeding methods over the first few years, and whether they turned out to be left or right handed. Their findings revealed that the prevalence of left-handedness is higher in those infants who were not breastfed.
So those who were breastfed were more likely to be right-handed.
“We think breastfeeding optimises the process the brain undergoes when solidifying handedness,” Philippe Hujoel, the study’s author told Science Daily.
Of those mothers and babies who participated in the study, those who breastfed for less than one month reported a 9% decrease in the prevalence of left-handedness.
Those who breastfed for between one month and six months reported a 15% reduction in left handedness.
And those who breastfed for more than six months reported a 22% decrease prevalence in left-handedness.
After nine months, the difference between left handed and right handed infants was of no notable difference.
While handedness is believed to be set early in foetal life and is also somewhat influenced by genetics, the research suggests breastfeeding could also have an impact in which hand children go on to use.
So though the study does not imply that breastfeeding leads to right-handedness, it does sheds light on when the region of the brain that controls handedness localises to one side of the brain, a process known as brain lateralisation.
But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which hand your child uses to write up their ABC’s, right?
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