Breastfeeding As A Predictor To Your Child Being Left Or Right Handed
What factors determines whether a child will be left or right handed? A new study from University of Washington suggests that the method in which we feed our children is a contributing factor.
Researchers found that the prevalence of left-handedness is lower among breastfed infants as compared to bottle-fed infants, suggesting that perhaps a dominant hand is established long before transitioning to solids. This finding was identified in about 60,000 mother-infant pairs and accounted for known risk factors for handedness.
"We think breastfeeding optimizes the process the brain undergoes when solidifying handedness," said Philippe Hujoel, the study's author, a professor at the UW's School of Dentistry and an adjunct professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health. "That's important because it provides an independent line of evidence that breastfeeding may need to last six to nine months."
The study does not imply, however, that breastfeeding leads to right-handedness, Hujoel said. Handedness, whether it be right- or left-handed, is set early in fetal life and is at least partially determined by genetics.
Handedness is known to be correlated with our intelligence, health, and behavior. It is commonly known that left handed people typically have higher abilities in creativity, arts and expressive feelings, where right handed people have stronger abilities in logic, analysis and language.
So, while you may not be planning your child’s future as the next left handed hitter for a major league baseball team, it is interesting to learn from and consider the study’s findings.