= Risk Reduction
breastfeeding is good for you!
has been a high focus on the benefits to the baby
when mom decides to breastfeed. Some of the benefits for infants fed mother's
breast milk include:
the benefits to the mother?
Starting from the time right after the baby is born, breastfeeding reduces
the risk of blood loss by increasing the rate
of uterine contraction.
to increase bonding with the new baby and gives many women an improved
sense of self-esteem and success with mothering.
For the long
term, some studies indicate that nursing your baby reduces lifetime menstrual
may include a reduced rate or less severe infections during your lifetime
and possibly a reduced risk of spinal and hip fracture after menopause.
It lowers the risk of ovarian cancer.
to a recent issue of issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology,
breastfeeding seems to reduce the risk of premenopausal breast cancer
diagnosed before the age of 40. Other studies have shown a reduced risk
for breast cancer throughout the life of the mother.
women decide not to breastfeed?
of 245 mothers found 44.3% planned to breastfeed. When
a followup was done at 6 months, only 13% were still nursing their infants.
study, reported in the Journal of Family Practice, asked 66
women whether they would be breastfeeding. Only 3 (4.5%) indicated that
they planned to breastfeed exclusively, while an additional 11 (16.7%)
said that they planned to use a combination of bottle-feeding and breastfeeding.
to this report, women with less than 12 years of education were more likely
to steer away from breastfeeding.
not breast feed?
Given the benefits, why don't all women decide to breastfeed their
of 245 mothers found, "The
most common reasons bottle-feeding was chosen included:
- 1) mother's
perception of father's attitude,
- 2) uncertainty
regarding the quantity of breast milk,
- 3) return
factors that would have encouraged bottle-feeding mothers to breastfeed
Arora S, McJunkin
C, Wehrer J, Kuhn P.
- 1) more
information in prenatal class;
- 2) more
information from TV, magazines, and books;
- 3) family
Pediatrics 2000 Nov;106(5):E67
don't know about the benefits of breastfeeding, both to themselves and
to their babies, it makes sense to use formula instead. The concerns that
the father won't be able to take part in the feeding or that returning
to work will cause problems are real.
Help With Breast Fed Babies
If you breastfeed you can still use a breast pump to fill bottles for
the times you need to be away from the baby or when Dad wants to take
are worried that breastfeeding will cause sagging. Saggy
breasts are not caused by breast feeding.
tend to respond to gravity more quickly than smaller breasts, but that
is true whether or not you nurse your children.
So many of the risk factors for breast cancer are out of our control.
Breastfeeding is one way that women control some of the risk.
a guarantee that breast cancer will be prevented by nursing your babies,
but if it's better for both baby and mom... why not take advantage of
see -> Breastfeeding
& Breast Cancer
You At Risk For Breast Cancer?