Breastfeeding is the norm in developing countries. The more industrialized a country, the less likely women are to breastfeed their infants. Our breasts were created to produce a perfect nutrition for our offspring. In the USA, we have seen a decline in breast feeding as working mothers are required to return to their jobs and breastfeeding becomes inconvenient.
Studies have shown that :
- Women who breastfed their infants for a cumulative period of 12-24 months had a 66% reduction in breast cancer rates.
- There is a direct established relationship between the duration of breastfeeding and a decreased risk of developing breast cancer.
- Young women, who were at high risk due to family history, were found to have a decreased incidence of breast cancer when they breastfed their children.
De Silva M, Senarath U, Gunatilake M et al. Prolonged Breastfeeding Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer in Sri Lankan Women: a Case-Control Study. Cancer Epidemiol. 2010 Jun;34(3):267-73. Epub 2010 Mar 24.
Edmonds, Molly. “Does breast-feeding make better babies?” 23 November 2009. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/postpartum-care/breast-feeding-better.htm> 27 May 2011
Knox, Richard. Study : Breast –Feeding Decrease Cancer Risk. 19 April 2007 NPR