AskPatty's Breast Cancer Awareness Tip 12: Breastfeed Your Babies
For young women: Breastfeed your babies for as long as possible. Women who breastfeed their babies for at least a year in total have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Breastfeeding for longer further reduces the risk.
Even though we know breastfeeding babies gives them a healthy start, “Research shows mothers who breastfeed lower their risk of pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer. And, breastfeeding longer than the recommended six months can provide additional protection,” says Rachel King, a health education specialist in MD Anderson’s Lyda Hill Cancer Prevention Center.
According to data presented at Komen.org, in a pooled analysis of data from 47 studies, mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total (combined duration of breastfeeding for all children) of one year were slightly less likely to get breast cancer than those who never breastfed.
Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total of two years got about twice the benefit of those who breastfed for a total of one year. Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total of more than two years got even more benefit.
Breastfeeding is good for your health as well as your baby’s.