Two recent studies are highlighting more long-term benefits of breastfeeding for moms.
One study found that breastfeeding helps give Mom protection against a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. This study found that breastfeeding decreased the risk of hormone receptor negative tumors by up to 20 percent. These tumors are especially hard to treat, and are more common in young women and African Americans. Milk production following pregnancy causes changes in the milk duct cells making them more resistant to cancer. Even breastfeeding for a short period of time reduces the risk of this type of breast cancer.
Another study found that breastfeeding can help prevent development of Type 2 diabetes in women who developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Women who have gestational diabetes are seven times more likely to develop life-long diabetes after pregnancy. This large study followed women who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy from different ethnic backgrounds, for over two years. It found that 12 percent of these women went on to develop Type 2 diabetes. But if they breastfed, their risk was cut in half, and the longer they breastfed, the lower their risk of developing diabetes.
We know there are many benefits for babies from breastfeeding. Studies like these are showing Mom benefits greatly too. Breastfeeding is a win-win choice for everyone!