Breastfeeding makes a difference to the lives of children, mothers, families, community and the world.
More information coming soon.
Breastfeeding is important for mothers
Not breastfeeding is associated with increased risk of premenopausal breast cancer.
A large prospective study carried out in the USA using data from 60,075 parous women found that among women with a family history of breast cancer, women who had ever breastfed were less likely to suffer premenopausal breast cancer compared with women who had never breastfed. Stuebe AM, Willett WC, Michels KB (2009) Lactation and incidence of premenopausal breast cancer: a longitudinal study. Archives Internal Medicine; 169 (15): 1364-71. More
Not breastfeeding increases risk of obesity in mothers
The UK Million Women Study recruited middle aged women with an aim of examining the relationship between childbearing and breastfeeding and subsequent body mass index (BMI). Parous women who breastfed had significantly lower BMIs than their non-breastfeeding counter parts and this remained significant even after adjusting for confounding variables. The mean BMI decreased as lifetime duration of breastfeeding increased: compared with women who never breastfed, mean BMI decreased by 0.8 (95% CI 0.71 to 0.82)kg/m2 in those with a lifetime breastfeeding duration of more than 9 months. This relationship was statistically significant (p<0.0001) and maintained at each parity level. Bobrow K, Quigley M, Green J et al (2009) The Long Term Effects of Childbearing and Breastfeeding on Body Mass Index in Middle Aged Women: Results from the Million Women Study. J Epidemiol Community Health; 63 (Suppl_2): 56. More
Hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia more likely if didn't breastfeed
Parous women who had never breastfed were more likely to have hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia than were those who had lactated according to a prospective study with data from 139,681 postmenopausal women in the US. Even after adjusting for family history, BMI and sociodemographic variables, women who reported a lifetime history of more than 12 months of lactation were 10-15 per cent less likely to have risk factors for
cardiovascular disease. Schwarz EB Ray RM, Steube AM et al. (2009) Duration of lactation and risk factors for maternal cardiovascular disease. Obstet Gynecol May; 113:974. More
Mothers who do not breastfeed their infants seem to be at increased risk of vascular changes associated with future cardiovascular disease.
Schwarz, Eleanor Bimla; McClure, Candace K.; Tepper, Ping G.; Thurston, Rebecca; Janssen, Imke; Matthews, Karen A.; Sutton-Tyrrell, Kim. Lactation and Maternal Measures of Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease. Obstet Gynecol 2010;115:418. More
Do journal titles and abstracts misinform about risks of not breastfeeding?
Effective promotion of breastfeeding is constrained if health professionals' knowledge on its importance is deficient. This review of 78 studies examines whether formula feeding is named as the risk factor in published research or whether it is considered the unspoken norm. Smith J, Dunstone M, Elliott-Rudder M. Health Professional Knowledge of Breastfeeding: Are the Health Risks of Infant Formula Feeding Accurately Conveyed by the Titles and Abstracts of Journal Articles? J Hum Lact 2009 25: 350-358. More
Risks of Not Breastfeeding is a research-based publication from the International Lactation Consultant Association available here.