Study finds there are loads of amazing health benefits for breastfeeding mums 2 years ago

Study finds there are loads of amazing health benefits for breastfeeding mums

We are all aware by now that for babies, nothing beats breastmilk.

It is pretty much liquid gold in that it not only provides newborns with the perfect, tailor-made nutrition, but it also helps strengthen the bond with their mums, protects from disease, boosts immunity and even reduces risk of developing high blood pressure and Type Two diabetes later in life.

What we have heard slightly less about, is how amazingly healthy breastfeeding is for mums doing it too.

You might have heard that breastfeeding has a protective effect when it comes to breast cancer, but according to a new study, published in the Journal of American Heart Association, breastfeeding mums are also nine percent less likely to have heart disease and eight percent less likely to have a stroke than non-breastfeeding mums.

Talk about good for you!

Oh, and the effects seem to be cumulative. Meaning, for every additional six months of breastfeeding, there is a four percent lower risk of heart disease and three percent lower risk of stroke. And for women who had more than one child and breastfed each of their babies for two years or more, their risk of heart disease and stroke lowered by an impressive 18 percent.

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Researchers from China and the U.K. analysed data from almost 290,000 women, ages 30 to 70, in China for more than eight years. They adjusted for factors such as cholesterol levels, smoking, obesity, blood pressure and physical activity. But they weren't able to account for diet. None had cardiovascular disease when they first enrolled in the study, and all made their own decisions whether or not to breastfeed.

It's not clear yet why these benefits exist, and further studies are needed.

"If they are causal, the health benefits to the mother from breastfeeding may be explained by a faster 'reset' of the mother’s metabolism after pregnancy," study co-author and a epidemiologist at Oxford University, Sanne Peters, explains.

In other words, during pregnancy, there are huge changes to a woman's metabolism as she stores fat for her developing baby and to prep for breastfeeding when the baby is born. Breastfeeding can eliminate that stored fat more efficiently, while women who don't breastfeed still have metabolic reserves they don't need. This, says Peters, may contribute to more weight gain and higher risks for heart disease.

Although the participants of this study are in China, the study's results is in line with similar studies from the U.S., like the Nurses' Health Study in 2008.