A new study just confirmed that breastfeeding is really bad for both you and your baby. Just kidding. However, there is a new breastfeeding study, and its findings have concluded something we haven't yet heard: Breastfeeding may reduce the odds of developing rheumatoid arthritis ... in moms.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 7,300 women, ages 50 and older, in China, and they found that women who breastfed their babies were about half as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who didn't breastfeed. The study also found that the longer a woman breastfed, the lower her risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. But while the study found that there seems to be an association between breastfeeding and a lowered risk of rheumatoid arthritis, it wasn't able to establish a direct cause-and-effect link. In other words, they're not sure why this is the case.
We all know that, health-wise, breast is best when it comes to babies, so it's always nice to hear when there are new health benefits discovered for nursing mothers -- especially since, you know, we're doing a lot of work! Of course, breastfeeding is a completely personal choice, and it's definitely not what's best for everyone, but if you're on the fence about whether or not you'd like to try it, consider the fact that breastfeeding has been linked to lower instances of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, in addition to the health benefits for baby. (Not gonna lie, part of the reason I breastfed was because of the breast cancer link.)
That said, though, please don't feel pressure to breastfeed because of any of these studies -- or for any reason at all. Like I said, it's a personal choice, and while, sure, there are many studies touting the benefits for both mom and baby, it doesn't mean you're definitely going to get arthritis or cancer if you choose not to nurse. That's not how it works.
A good mom does what she feels is best for both her and her child, and nothing beyond that matters.
Why or why didn't you breastfeed?
Image via Mothering Touch/Flickr