Have you ever wondered how much your infant years affected you later in life? It hasn't been a big concern for me in the past, but now I'm sort of curious. For instance, I was bottle-fed because (try not to gasp) I was born in the 70s and I think everyone was bottle-fed in the 70s. I think all the moms got together and decided this, although I have no way of knowing since, you know, I was a baby. But how did being bottle-fed affect me in the long run? Well, according to an interesting new study, bottle-fed babies are more likely to share an uncommon trait. And I have this particular trait, which means my entire life was pre-destined, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.
A study conducted by the University of Washington was shared in the scientific journal Laterality: Assymetrics of Body, Brain, and Cognition in December. This study looked more than 60,000 pairs of mothers and babies, some of whom were breastfed and some who were bottle-fed, from five different countries around the world.
And here is what researchers found: Bottle-fed babies were more likely to be left-handed than babies who were breastfed for at least six months, as People reported. Surprised?
According to the study, approximately one out of every five left-handed people might well have been right-handed if they were breastfed until at least 6 months of age. If babies were breastfed for one month, they had a 9 percent higher chance of being left-handed. And if they were breastfed for one to five months that went up to 15 percent.
Why? It has to do with the function of the left and right sides of our brain, as the Daily Mail reported. "We think breastfeeding optimizes the process the brain undergoes when solidifying handedness," Philippe Hujoel, the study’s author and dentistry professor at the UW School of Public Health, said in a press release of the findings. "That is important because it provides an independent line of evidence that breastfeeding may need to last six to nine months."
The research, which was collected via independent surveys, concluded that infant feeding influences brain lateralization "when the region of the brain that controls handedness localizes to one side of the brain," according to Science Daily.
While breastfeeding until six months dramatically improved the chances of an infant being right-handed, researchers noted that there did not seem to be any increase in right-handedness if they were breastfed until 9 months old and beyond.
As a left-handed person it behooves me to note that being left-handed isn't all bad. Sure, you smudge the page when you're writing long hand sometimes but otherwise, we left-handed people manage to get along just fine.
Being left-handed is pretty rare, which can be sort of cool. Only around 10 percent of people in the United States are left-handed, according to HuffPost, but they're probably all awesome. In fact, lefties include amazing people like Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo di Vinci, and President Barack Obama.
There are plenty of factors behind whether or not parents want to breastfeed or bottle-feed. But should handedness be one of them? I mean, we get our own day of the year dedicated to us and everything — Aug 13. So I sort of feel like we're doing alright.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.