I read this loopy report today – “breastfeeding boosts the social class of the baby in the future”. The breastfeeding lobby are delighted.
“CHILDREN who are breastfed have a greater chance of climbing the social ladder when they reach adulthood, a new study has found.
The research, based on two large groups of people born 12 years apart, shows that those who had been breastfed in both eras had similarly improved their chances of social mobility.
The study has been welcomed by campaigners who have long promoted the benefits of breastfeeding.”
I’m sure Nations who primarily breastfeed will be similarly delighted to know this. The social ladder indeed. Since the 60’s, in Western countries, we’ve ALL gone up the social ladder. Each generation has been higher up the rungs than the previous one in health, education, ownership and comfort.
“We don’t know if the link is the nutrients of the milk or the close, skin-to-skin contact and bonding between mother and child.”
So, mothers who bottle feed do it by remote control – no cradling in the arms, no burping routine, no touching, no skin to skin contact? And modern formula is not formulated, just dried milk powder?
“Breastfeeding increased the odds of upwards mobility by 24 per cent and reduced the odds of downward mobility by around 20 per cent for both groups, the authors found.”
Prof Sacker said: “The fact we found the same results in two separate groups, from different years, means we are more confident about our findings.
“Breastfeeding enhances brain development, which boosts intellect, which in turn increases upwards social mobility. Breastfed children also showed fewer signs of stress.
“The evidence suggests breastfeeding confers a range of long-term health, developmental and behavioural advantages, which persist into adulthood.”
But she pointed out that it was difficult to pinpoint which gave a child the greatest benefit – the nutrients in breast milk or the close contact and associated bonding during breastfeeding.
She said: “Perhaps the combination is implicated in the better neurocognitive and adult outcomes of breastfed infants.”
Karen MacKay, registered midwife and lactation consultant for NHS Highland, said: “There is a clear link that breastfeeding can break the divide between inequalities.
“We hope to raise the profile of the benefits of breastfeeding and reduce the impact of social inequality.”
And – yes – I’m sure they will!
Those mothers who choose or are unable to breastfeed, are going to be more discomforted than they already are as they fail to keep their children moving up.