Saturday, October 20, 2007

Breastfeeding can save a mom's life

I came upon Angela White's excellent blog recently:

Of the many interesting posts, one really surprised me. It contained the quote below, which was sourced from a Cornell University fact sheet.

“Although there are a few studies that report a decrease in the risk of breast cancer after only three or more months of breast-feeding, the evidence for risk reduction becomes more consistent the longer women breast-feed. The most consistent evidence of a relationship between breast-feeding and the risk of breast cancer has been reported in studies of Chinese women who breast-fed for long periods of time. In these studies, women who breast-fed for a total of six years or more (all children combined) over the course of their lives had as much as a 63% decrease in breast cancer incidence compared to women who never breast-fed.”

I've blogged about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child before, but I was alarmed by this particular statistic. 63% is a HUGE decrease.

Being that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I hope this information gets more (or even some?) play in the media. I hope it will drive more women to breastfeed and to breastfeed longer - because, on top of the myriad other benefits of breastfeeding to mom and baby, it could save a woman's life.

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