Breastfeeding and Breast Health
After last week’s report from the CDC, we promised, via Twitter, to cover this important topic: breastfeeding. It’s an issue where facts run deep and opinions run high. For something that comes naturally, there’s actually a lot to learn.
First, we recognize that breastfeeding is not an option for some women, and we respect that. No guilt trips here! For those who can, we seriously encourage it, as the health benefits are many. We’d like to talk about one benefit in particular: reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Breastfeeding has been shown to lower the risk of breast cancers – especially in premenopausal women. In fact, mothers who do it longer are statistically even less likely to develop breast cancer than those who do it for only a short while. This is true for both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancers.
Recent studies by the CDC have shown a rise in the popularity of breastfeeding in the United States. Because of the benefits to mom and baby- especially its positive effect on breast cancer risk- we are thrilled to hear this report.
For those who would like more information on breastfeeding, organizations like La Leche League are a great resource of education and support.
We’d love nothing more than to see breast cancer disappear for good. In the meantime, let’s do every little thing we can. Maintain a healthy body weight, don’t smoke, lower alcohol consumption and if you have the opportunity, breastfeed. It will benefit baby and mom – a double win!
Image credit: The Nurseling by Christine Rogers via Flickr, Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Originally published 8/5/13 on mammographykc.com.