By: Lillie Wilson

What is Breastfeeding?

As said in Development Through The Lifespan by Laura E. Berk the action that infants partake in is called "suckling" which is an automatic response or reflex. (106)

The main question that is always asked when referring to breastfeeding is, is it healthier for a mother to breastfeed their child rather than bottle feed them?

Factors to Remember

some instances occur when a mother cannot breastfeed their child and these factors need to be taken into account on studies involving breastfeeding infants. some examples of these factor are the health of the mother, the health of the infant, and the amount of time the mother has with the infant.

Answering The Question

New studies have been conducted and the results show that breastfeeding doesn't have that much of a longitudinal difference as far as the infants health. So if a mother bottle feeds her child then she wont be putting them at that much of a disadvantage.

One study conducted by scientists from the Department of Sociology at Ohio State University tested the health of children who were breastfed against children who were bottle fed. In this study they took people who were in an earlier study, National Longitudinal Study of Youth, and they took the children who were between the ages of 4 and 14 at the time of that study and used their children in this new study. The new study "Is Breast Truly Best?" overall had 8,237 children from 4,071 families. the children in this study were 4 years old or older. In their study they were worried about the factors that some women deal with when breastfeeding so they used siblings to conduct their study and they had three total studies. One tested siblings who were both breast fed, one tested siblings who were fed differently, and the final study was information from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth that the parents participated in.

They looked at BMI, obesity, hyperactivity, parental attachment, scholastic competence, their performance in school, and more. The data retrieved for this study was collected in different ways. some things like the parental attachment or parental compliance was taken by maternal report while some things like school performance was collected by interviewer assessment.

overall the results of this study showed that the differences in the performance of children who were breast fed opposed to those who were not was so close that it could be considered strictly coincidence so they concluded that there was not a difference in health between children who were bottle verses breast fed.


Berk, E., Laura (2014). Development through the lifespan

Colen, C. G., & Ramey, D. M. (2014). Is breast truly best? Estimating the effects of breastfeeding on long-term child health and wellbeing in the United States using sibling comparisons. Social Science & Medicine, 10955-65. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.01.027