Breastfeeding Prevents Cancer and Diabetes

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Filed Under: Women's Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Breastfeeding Prevents Cancer and Diabetes

The sensitive and rapid development of babies demand optimal nutrition and care from their birth. It has been found that their nutrition and care, even within the first months of life, can have a lasting impact on their later health. Children need to be breast fed, especially during the first several months of life, hopefully even longer. Breastfeeding has been found to prevent disease in children and also in mothers. Read on for more information on how breastfeeding has been found to prevent diabetes and cancer.

Diabetes

By choosing the convenience of cow’s milk or manmade formulas over breast feeding, mothers may be subjecting their children to a lifelong fight with diabetes. Studies have shown that children who are breast fed have a lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes. These children also had a lower risk of developing obesity. Mothers who breastfeed also lower their chances of developing diabetes later in life. The advantages of breastfeeding in regards to diabetes prevention are relevant to both mother and child.

Cancer

Research has found that breast feeding when performed for longer than six months can significantly lower the risk of both mother and child from developing various types of cancer later in life. Women who breastfed their children had a lower chance of developing breast cancer. A study by the National Institute of Health found that children who were breastfed for at least six months had half the chance of developing cancer compared to their formula-fed peers.

Despite all the positive benefits of breast feeding, the baby formula market continues to grow. With the hectic schedules of working mothers, the convenience of formulas becomes an enticing alternative to breast feeding. Fortunately, organizations like La Leche can provide guidance and loads of information on ways to make breast feeding more convenient (breast pumps, milk storage, milk sharing, etc.). For additional information, contact the La Leche Legion in or near your area. If you live in a major city, check your phone book for the number of the local chapter in your immediate area.

Now it's your turn: Did you develop diabetes or cancer after breastfeeding?

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