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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