(LATIMES) — The longer moms exclusively breast-fed their babies, the better those children did at age 3 on a vocabulary test, and at age 7 on an intelligence test, a study says.

“Our results support a causal relationship of breast-feeding duration with receptive language and verbal and nonverbal intelligence later in life,” the researchers reported Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Pediatrics.

Breast-feeding a baby for a year would be expected to mean an increase in IQ of about four points, the researchers found. Put another way, at age 7, the benefit of breast-feeding was 0.35 points per month on the verbal scale and 0.29 points on the nonverbal scale.

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