A new study published yesterday by the University of Washington found that bottle feeding infants is associated with left-handedness. Approximately 60,000 mother-infant pairs were studied and, accounting for known risk factors for handedness, it was found that the prevalence of left-handedness is lower among breastfed infants as compared to bottle-fed infants.
Does this mean that if you breastfeed, your child will be right-handed, and if you bottle-feed, your child will be left-handed?? Not exactly. These results are likely more about how breastfeeding affects – and optimizes – complex brain functions that ultimately determine which side your baby will favor.
Handedness is set early in fetal life and is at least partially determined by genetics. At some point, the region of the brain that controls handedness localizes to one side of the brain, a process known as brain lateralization. Possibly, the research shows, breastfeeding optimizes this lateralization towards becoming right- or left-handed.
Add it to the list of amazing things that happen with breastfeeding!
About Katie Stansberry
Katie Stansberry is a work-from-home mom of two sweet girls and the creator of Breastfeeding Bliss. After struggling at the beginning of her breastfeeding journey, she wanted to create a happy place where breastfeeding moms could find practical tips, positive inspiration, and the newest and best breastfeeding products. On her "Back to Bliss" breastfeeding blog, she shares her personal stories and tips for making breastfeeding an easier and more enjoyable experience.