Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home Publications Food for Thought? Breastfeeding and Child Development

Food for Thought? Breastfeeding and Child Development

IFS Working Paper W13/31
We show that children who are born at the weekend or just before are less likely to be breastfed, owing to poorer breastfeeding support services at weekends. We use this variation to estimate the effect of breastfeeding on children's development for a sample of uncomplicated births from low educated mothers. We find that breastfeeding has large effects on children's cognitive development, but not on non-cognitive development or health. Regarding mechanisms, we estimate how breastfeeding affects parental investments in the child and the quality of the mother-child relationship.