Moms, Breastfeeding Could Slash Your Risk Of Heart Attack And Stroke

For the study, researchers analyzed information from almost 300,000 women in China.

"We all have a role to play so that negative attitudes do not undermine this choice or discourage mothers from breastfeeding", she added. However, the U.S. Nurses' Health Study found only women with a lifetime duration of breastfeeding of 2 years or more had a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who never breastfed. The study came in as a response to the previous research which said that breastfeeding only provides short-term benefits to the women like - helping in weight loss, lowering cholesterol and regulating blood pressure. Results showed that women who breastfed their babies had a smaller risk of heart disease or heart attack by 9 percent, as compared to those who never breastfed. Almost all were mothers and none had cardiovascular disease when they enrolled in the study.

Adding another perspective to this recent revelation, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that the mothers who are unable to breastfeed due to various reasons should not be anxious about their health and any impending risks because people have different coping mechanisms and recovering processes.

The women were followed up for eight years, and during this time, about 16,700 developed coronary heart disease (which includes heart attacks) and almost 24,000 had a stroke. However, there are also several advantages for the breastfeeding mother.

"Although we can not establish the causal effects, the health benefits to the mother from breastfeeding may be explained by a faster "reset" of the mother's metabolism after pregnancy".

Every additional six months of breastfeeding, too, was linked with a 4 percent lower risk of heart attack and 3 percent lower risk of stroke.

Many researchers say that breastfeeding may help restore a woman's fat clearing systems after the birth. Breastfeeding could get rid of the stored fat more quickly, the research fellow explained.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends mothers to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life. She noted another study that saw a similar link between breastfeeding and heart health, but only among mothers who did it for two years or more.

"The findings should encourage more widespread breastfeeding for the benefit of the mother as well as the child", said Oxford professor Zhengming Chen, the study's senior author.

  • Joanne Flowers