Since 2011, National Breastfeeding Month has been celebrated throughout the month of August, and it is certainly something to pay tribute to. Breastfeeding has seen its fair share of controversy, and many women have decided to use other means for their child’s nutrition.
However, breastfeeding is widely considered to be the healthiest option and has proven to be incredibly beneficial to both baby and mother during the months of post-pregnancy and throughout life.
Studies have shown that breastfeeding prevents obesity, ear infections, asthma and other common ailments in children. For mothers, the benefits include a lower risk of certain cancers and Type 2 diabetes, in addition to fewer effects of postpartum depression and the body’s natural healing after birth.
For instance, a study as recently as April 28, 2015 and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and reported on in our blog, found evidence that women who breastfed were less likely to suffer a recurring case of cancer or die from the disease than women who didn’t.
“Women who breastfeed are more likely to get the luminal A subtype of breast cancer, which is less aggressive,” said Dr. Marilyn Kwan, author of the study. She continued saying, “…breastfeeding may set up a molecular environment that makes the tumor more responsive to anti-estrogen therapy.”
Of course, breastfeeding isn’t for every woman. In certain rare cases, breastfeeding may actually be harmful to a child. Read more about when to avoid breastfeeding.
The United States’ Office of Women’s Health has compiled a more extensive and detailed list of benefits as well as more pros and cons relating to breastfeeding.
To see a schedule of events for National Breastfeeding Month or to find out more about how you can get involved, you can check out the United States Breastfeeding Committee’s website.
Lastly, be sure to visit our knowledge center to gather more information regarding the benefits of breastfeeding.
If you have any questions about breastfeeding or need breastfeeding support, consider meeting with the compassionate and expert maternity team at All About Women – North Florida’s top obstetrics and gynecology practice.