Breast-Feeding in Relation to Breast Cancer Risk

It is widely believed that breastfeeding gives a mother and a baby a healthy start. Yes, it’s true. Research shows that if a woman breastfeeds for longer than 1 year, not only it benefits to mother and the child, it also lowers the risk of breast cancer.

Breastfeeding women experience hormonal changes during lactation that delay their menstrual periods. In addition, you shed breast tissues too, which remove cells with potential DNA damage. Thus, reducing a woman’s lifetime exposure to hormones like estrogen, which can promote breast cancer cell growth.

Breastfeeding also helps in lowering your ovarian cancer risk by preventing ovulation. And the less you ovulate, the less exposure to estrogen and abnormal cells that could become cancerous.

Below, are the tips that our experts shared; what you need to know about breastfeeding.

Breastfeed for at least six months

To reap the health benefits of breastfeeding, you should do it for at least six months. This means your baby receives only breast milk – no water, other liquids or solids. The milk provides all the energy and nutrients your child needs during this specific period to develop and stay healthy. After six months, you can gradually introduce foods like baby cereal, fruits, and vegetables, minimizing the quantity of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding helps protect your child from cancer

Breastfeeding not only reduces your chances for developing cancer but also your child’s. Breastfeeding prevents your child from being overweight or obese later in life. Hence, reduce the risk of many cancers. Breastfeeding also strengthens your child’s immune system by passing your antibodies from your milk to your child. Research also indicates that the longer a child is breastfed, the lower his or her chances of developing allergies.

Seek a lactation consultant

Despite all the health perks, breastfeeding isn’t an easy task. If you’re having trouble, get help from a lactation consultant, or a professional breastfeeding specialist. Before delivering a baby, educate yourself or talk to your doctor about finding a class that will teach you breastfeeding techniques and useful tips.

Always remember; breastfeeding is about you and your baby’s health. So, go at it with the knowledge and resources to be successful.

Thirty to forty percent of cancers are caused due to unhealthy food. During breastfeeding, women tend to maintain healthier lifestyles by eating more nutritious foods and also limiting smoking and alcohol abuse. This also protects women from getting breast cancer.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors