Cancer Prevention And The Benefits Of Breastfeeding
As World Breastfeeding Awareness week approaches, women across the world are given time to reflect on the benefits of breastfeeding, and how this natural process can not only nurture children- but provide proven protection against various reproductive cancers too.
This is a relatively unknown advantage to breastfeeding, as breast cancer prevention is not a typical concern for new mothers, who are significantly more preoccupied with feeding their new babies than with preventing uterine cancers. However, in honor of Awareness week, which falls between August 1st and 7th, we’ve chosen to outline the significant and holistic health benefits that breastfeeding provides.
Breastfeeding: A Preventative Measure
Breastfeeding is a practice encouraged by both recognized health agencies, and governmental bodies, worldwide. The benefits are numerous, and can range from helping new mothers burn calories (and subsequently lose weight and get back to their pre-pregnancy body-shape) to reducing the risk of iron-deficiency anemia. However, recent yet somewhat undisclosed studies have also suggested that breastfeeding can potentially prevent reproductive cancers too. Cancer Research UK refers to statistical studies that indicate this.
Researchers came to this conclusion after noting that ovarian cancers and uterine cancers are more prevalent in women who chose to feed formula to their babies, and who opted not to breastfeed. Some experts suggest that new mothers who breastfeed have lower level of estrogen, and delayed menstrual cycles, which could provide natural barriers against specific cancers. While official studies have largely been proven inconclusive, compiled data seems to suggest that breast and uterine cancers could potentially be prevented by breastfeeding.
The Wonders of Breastfeeding
The potential to prevent cancer is a wonderful and invaluable benefit of breastfeeding. However, the advantages extend beyond the physical, and can prove psychologically beneficial to new mothers too.
Breastfeeding gives mother and baby the opportunity to bond more closely which could strengthen their relationship later in life. It can also help deter postpartum depression, and studies suggest that breastfeeding can help alleviate the symptoms of those suffering from depression or even pre-existing conditions.
Moreover, mothers who breastfeed reportedly have lessened financial anxiety as breast milk is free, plus they avoid the hassle of buying andpreparing formula milk.
World Breastfeeding Awareness Week was created with the intention of informing women about the advantages of breastfeeding, and highlighting the potential drawbacks of not doing so. It’s worth noting that when given the choice, “breast is best”, although it must be acknowledged that some mothers are unable to breastfeed even when they would like to.
Awareness of returning breastfeeding to a socially acceptable practice is also on the agenda. Many countries discourage breastfeeding in public places, but when it is done with consideration then it should be applauded and not derided as it’s one of our most basic functions – with enormous benefits. At mamazura, we happen to think it's also a beautiful thing to see.
Women around the world can appreciate and learn more about the wonderful advantages breastfeeding can provide, thanks to this movement. Not only is breastfeeding more sustainable, it is also less wasteful and generally more advantageous than bottle feeding could ever be. The antibodies which will strengthen and develop a healthy immune system should be reason enough to give breastfeeding a good try.
For more information and help please refer to: http://www.parents.com/baby/breastfeeding/tips/secrets-for-breastfeeding-success/ and https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/pdf/BF-Guide-508.
It’s important that women support each other, by spreading awareness, and informing a new generation of mothers.