1 Good Reason Moms Should Consider Breastfeeding for More Than 6 Months

This Just In 21

breastfeedingWe could probably go on and on for days about the benefits breastfeeding provides for babies, but a new study shows that it can prove to be very positive for our own health as well.

Research was conducted at Universidad de Granada in Melilla, Spain, and the results of the study were reported online in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. It found that non-smoking moms who breastfed their babies for more than six months got breast cancer an average of 10 years later than women who did not breastfeed or did not do so for as long.

Ten years? Wow. That's pretty significant.

The women involved in the study were all diagnosed with breast cancer between the ages of 19 and 91. For those who breastfed from three to six months, the average age upon diagnosis was 55.5 years. And the moms who nursed for less than three months or did not have children had an average age of 56.7. Moms who nursed for more than six months got the disease at an average age of 65.4 years old. (See? Pretty big gap.)

While it's interesting (and also disheartening) that the women studied who breastfed for more than six months still got breast cancer, the fact that they were shown to develop the disease so much later than the other moms in the group is definitely a wake-up call. It gives women yet one more reason to make the decision to breastfeed their babies (if they can, of course).

It's also important to note that the results of this study paired with other breast cancer studies suggest that the incidence of the illness could be reduced from 6.3% to 2.7% in women who do breastfeed for the longer than a six-month period of time.

And since most of us immediately cringe the minute we hear someone say breast cancer -- anything that lowers the risk of winding up with it is worth paying attention to for sure.

Personally, I did not breastfeed for the full six-month period or more -- not even close, in fact. But maybe if I'd been a little more aware of the benefits for not only my baby's health, but my own, I would've at least attempted to stick with it a little bit longer. And that's why it's so important to take these studies to heart and spread the word as much as possible -- because the results may be exactly what a woman who is agonizing over the decision of whether or not to breastfeed her baby (and for how long) needs to hear.

Do you plan on breastfeeding for longer than six months?


Image via Daquella manera/Flickr

breastfeeding, natural parenting, cancer


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katyq katyq

Awesome :)


Marcela Blunck Bowidowicz

I'm just curious if this study accounted for other factors, such as how healthy the women were before getting cancer, the history of cancer within the family, and socioeconomic background. 

Caera Caera

Be a breastfeeder as long as you want. Just don't be an attention-whoring exhibitionist and cover that shit up.

Simon... SimonzKedge

Sure, as long as you promise to throw a blanket over your head as well, Caera.

Caera Caera

Yes, Simonz...because that's EXACTLY THE SAME.


Simon... SimonzKedge

Yes it is. I'm glad that you finally realized that. :)

nonmember avatar Faith

If I manage to, I'll breast feed for one-3 years. To age 9 is creepy & a bit disgusting I admit. My ex's younger brother did that. Til his sibling teased him enough he stopped. That's just too long to breastfeed. I'll stop before my baby gets to school age

Jesi Sucku

I pump exclusively (not by choice...I'd much rather breastfeed until she self-weans, but I guess we'll try again next time) and plan on doing so until a minimum of one year. Once I get there I will assess how I feel about continuing. I do have a deep-freeze full of milk though, so when the time comes for me to stop she'll still have a good 6 month's supply before we run out.

nonmember avatar Jean

Caera, as a breastfeeding mom I find your comment very insulting. I cover up unless I am in a place where I know that other people feel comfortable. My son however hates the cover and it makes it harder for both of us. I wish that I had the guts that other women have and could feed my son without having to cover his head with a blanket, and have other people leave me in peace while I did this. Personally, if I could breastfeed without the cover without any attention from other people I would be calmer and my son would be happier when we are in public places.

nonmember avatar Anna Crase

I've been breast feeding for over a year now. It wasn't the original plan and was definitely the furthest thing from my mind while trying to get through those first few weeks. It's awesome that it can delay or possibly prevent breast cancer by breast feeding :)

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