Community Health Sciences
Background: Breastfeeding is known to be an important factor in the overall growth and development of children. Breastfeeding is thought to lead to enhance cognitive and language development of a child. However, this association has not yet been scientifically and statistically established. This study aimed to explore this association in children under 3 years of age.
Methods: This was a secondary data-analysis of the baseline data of “Balochistan – Early Childhood Development Project”. The final sample comprised of 604 children less than 3 years of age. The children were selected by three-stage stratified random sampling from three districts of Balochistan province; Gwadar, Quetta and Qilla Saifullah. The data for the duration of breastfeeding was categorized as less than 6 months, from 6 months to 12 months and greater than 12 months. The age appropriate language and cognitive development of children was assessed through the CDA (Care for development Appraisal) tool. We applied multivariate logistic regression model for the analysis.
Results: In unadjusted analysis, children breastfed for more than 12 months were at an advantage for cognitive and language development (cOR=2.91, cOR=2.8; p<0.05; respectively). After adjusting for a range of co-variates this developmental advantage decreased to aOR=2.42 for cognition and aOR=2.44 for language respectively (p><0.05).
Conclusions: The duration for which the child is breast-fed is integral for his language and cognitive development. Based on our findings we recommend that breastfeeding should be promoted for more than 12 months to bring out the maximum benefit in the language and cognitive development of a child.
Journal of General Practice
Ali, S. A.
(2017). The Effect of Breastfeeding on the Cognitive and Language Development of Children Under 3 Years of Age: Results of Balochistan-Early Childhood Development Project. Journal of General Practice, 5(2), 1-8.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_chs_chs/375
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