Bottle-feeding and handedness: is there a link?
I was just having a discussion with a friend of mine a few days ago and we concluded that, at this point in time, no one actually gets handedness. We don’t know so much what makes someone right handed or left handed. We also don’t know why 90% of the population happens to be right handed.
Quite recently (2018), more light or dare I say confusion was shed on this topic! A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed. No less than 60 000 mother-child relationships were scrutinized.
What was shown is that left-handedness is lower among breastfed infants compared to bottle-fed infants.
Now, we know that laterality is, according to some research, determined at least partially by genetics. Still, the authors of this study do suggest that breastfeeding could play a role in which side of the brain controls our dominant hand.
Lead author Hujoel states that breastfeeding could optimize the process the brain undergoes when solidifying handedness.
When cumulating data from national surveys in five different countries, the researchers noticed that with each month of breastfeeding, there was a downward trend in the number of left handed infants.
All of this being said, one though that comes to mind for me is: if there is correlation between the number of months a child was breastfed and the likelihood of them becoming right handed, considering that breastfeeding is physiological, is being right handed optimal?
There are many questions I don’t have the answer to. This just happens to be one of them!
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