You know that breastfeeding is good for your baby, but it also benefits you in many ways. While most people know that breastfeeding helps in reducing weight postpartum, combats iron deficiency and lowers the chances of conception, it also provides protection against various types of cancers like ovarian and breast cancer.
In fact, a study by Cancer Research UK, pointed out that late pregnancies and short period of breastfeeding among urban mothers is a major reason for the increasing number of breast cancer cases globally. The research is a detailed analysis of 47 published studies, with nearly 150 000 participants across 30 countries. The results show that if a woman breastfeeds her child for more than 12 months, she can reduce her risk by 4.3 percent..!
So if you are planning to start formula or wean anytime before the recommended six months of breastfeeding by the WHO, it is better you reconsider it. Once you start weaning, make sure you breastfeed your child to supplement her nutritional needs and save yourself from the dangers of the breast cancer.
How breastfeeding actually helps to reduce the risk
It keeps the breast cells active: Making milk 24/7 is a tedious job and while the cells in the breasts are busy with their job at hand, there are lesser chances for an abnormal cell division to happen and form a lump or malignancy.
It keeps estrogen levels in check: Most women, during breastfeeding, miss their periods or faces hormonal changes, which results in low levels of estrogen. Now, estrogen is notorious for many reasons — while a woman’s body needs estrogen, higher levels of it can lead to abnormal cell growth in the breasts. Breastfeeding, in a way, delays the sudden surge of estrogen that can lead to such blunders.