Breastfeeding Benefit for Mom

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Story Updated: Aug 16, 2013

Could breastfeeding be as good for a Mom's health as it is for her baby's? A new study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing looks at the relationship between breast cancer and certain features of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The researchers collected data from the medical records of more than 500 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer from 2004 to 2009. The women were 19 to 91 years of age.The team looked at age of diagnosis, how long the women breastfed, family history of cancer, obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking habits.

The results: women who breastfed were diagnosed with breast cancer at a later age, regardless of family history. Nonsmokers who breastfed for more than six months were diagnosed much later in life --- an average 10 years later than nonsmokers who breastfed for a shorter period. Smokers, on the other hand, were diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age and saw no significant benefit from longer breastfeeding.

The researchers say their findings show that longer breastfeeding is not only beneficial for children, but may protect mothers against a serious disease like breast cancer.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.