Breastfeeding: Good for Baby and Mom

Breastfeeding has always been good for babies. Now there’s evidence that it’s good for moms too.

BreastfeedingResearchers have discovered that women who breastfeed a baby for more than 12 months are less likely to suffer from hypertension, cardiovascular disease or diabetes later in life. Using information from a long-term national study of postmenopausal health known as the Women’s Health Initiative, researchers looked at data from 139,681 postmenopausal women who had given birth at least once in their younger years. Those who had breastfed a child for 12 months or longer were less likely to have hypertension, cardiovascular disease or diabetes than those who did not breastfeed. The study was published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology earlier this year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first four to six months of an infant’s life, and then gradually starting to introduce new foods. Infants who are breastfed have:

• lower rates of gastrointestinal disturbances

• fewer inner-ear infections

• fewer respiratory infections

• fewer urinary tract infections and

• lower incidence of chronic childhood diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, because breast milk builds up a baby’s immunities.

– Deirdre Wilson