Not only is having a child one of the most beautiful experiences you will have in your lifetime, it can now be a lifesaver as well. Studies show that breastfeeding your child for six months can reduce your risk of cancer and other deadly disease by 17 percent and death by heart disease by 8 percent.
The study which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed the breastfeeding and other healthy lifestyle choices of 380,000 women in Europe over a span of 13 years.
Aside from just breastfeeding it showed that men and women alike could cut their risk of early death by a third by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a plant-based diet, exercising for 30 minutes, lowering their alcohol intake, lowering their meat intake, and avoiding sugary drinks or high calorie meals.
This is the first study that has looked at the link between breastfeeding and mortality rates. There was a previous study done that showed failing to breastfeed increased a woman’s risk of developing premenopausal ovarian or breast cancer, diabetes, and other conditions. Longer breastfeeding leads to fewer menstrual cycles which reduces the amount of estrogen in the system. Estrogen feeds breast cancer. The shedding of breast tissue during lactation also helps clean the cells in the breast to reduce cancer.
According to the CDC only 16% of mothers breastfeed exclusively for six months or more. Alternately, 36% breastfeed exclusively for three months or less, and 47% breastfed for six months while also using other forms of nutrition such as formula. Breastfeeding, along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle can ensure you are around longer for your new little one