Mother and Baby

Breastfed or bottle-fed, IQ remains the same, says new research

Breastfed or bottle-fed, IQ remains the same

New research carried out by scientists at Goldsmith's University in London suggests whether a baby is breastfed or bottle-fed won’t affect their IQ. 

Breastfeeding is often thought to lead to higher intelligence in later life, but the Goldsmith’s research showed no difference in IQ between those who were breastfed and those who were bottle-fed. 

The research was carried out on more than 11,000 children. Researchers from Goldsmiths University of London and King's College London tested IQ levels nine times between the ages of two and 16. It was concluded that there was no link between IQ and breastfeeding. 

Dr Sophie von Stumm from Goldsmiths said: "Children - and adults - differ in their cognitive abilities, and it is important to identify factors that give rise to these differences. But comparatively small events like breastfeeding are very unlikely to be at the core of something as big and complex as children's differences in IQ. Instead, children's IQ differences are better explained by long-term factors, for example, children's family background and their schooling.” 

Commenting on this latest study, Janet Fyle Professional Policy Advisor at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says; “This is another research report among many studies on breastfeeding and child outcomes. 

“While this study adds to an already existing body of knowledge about breastfeeding, our advice remains the same, breastfeeding has many positive benefits for a child’s health and well-being in both the short and longer term.

“We also know of its beneficial impacts to the health and wellbeing of the mother.”


  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously edited before moving on to write about family cars for - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for M&B, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and 

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Sophie studied History at the University of Sheffield and has been in journalism for 16 years. 

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