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This is such a controversial issue and a personal issue for each mother to make. This new research suggests that breast-feeding might not be much more beneficial than bottle feeding.
The study was done by Ohio State University and was published in the Journal Social Science And Medicine.
This study had two key factors:
First, they looked at the health of young children age four to fourteen. The researchers didn't just look at infants and toddlers like many other studies do, they included sibling pairs within families .
The researchers found that when comparing different families; that yes, breast-feeding led to better outcomes in a child's health in areas like body mass index, hyperactivity, math skills, reading recognition, and obesity, among others.
But, this is key and what makes this research different, when the researchers compared siblings that were fed differently, one breast-fed the other bottle-fed, they found these long-term health differences did not exist.
The researchers say that looking within families, where the socioeconomics are the same among those siblings, makes this a strong argument in this debate that breast-feeding may not be as beneficial as originally thought.
The researchers say this should give mothers some comfort to know that if they cannot breast-feed and choose to bottle feed instead, that this study shows that other decisions they make may matter more -- like their child care, housing, and diet.
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