Breastfeeding Battles Breast Cancer Risk
By Antonia Roots, owner of My Bump to Bundle
October is all about PINK. From the professional football league to your local town's fundraising efforts, the whole country works together to bring awareness, research and support in hopes to find a cure against breast cancer.
As a breastfeeding momma, so much is discussed about how beneficial your milk is for your baby. But believe me, momma, your benefits are great, too. We are going to focus on decreasing your risk of breast cancer by breastfeeding. Yes, you read that right.
Here are the ways breastfeeding reduces your risk for breast cancer:
- The process of making milk 24/7 keeps breast cells from “misbehaving” or malfunctioning in ways that can make you susceptible;
- Breastfeeding mommas have fewer menstrual cycles, which lowers estrogen levels. This decreases the incidence of estrogen peaking in your blood at postmenopausal age;
- Breastfeeding mommas naturally eat more nutritious foods, which results in a healthy lifestyle and is encouraged for wellness.
Ideally, breastfeeding for longer than one year is recommended. The Susan G. Komen organization recently released a statistic stating that breastfeeding lowers your risk for breast cancer, especially for postmenopausal women, by 15 percent. This is the same percentage of decrease in risk as regular moderate intensity physical activity. We will talk more about exercising during pregnancy and postpartum next month, but a 15 percent decrease in risk for breastfeeding is pretty significant.
For each additional child you breastfeed, you are adding to your lifetime total of breastfeeding time. The best results for battling breast cancer risk is a lifetime total of breastfeeding for more than two years or longer. If this is difficult for some mommas to accomplish, be inspired that research in women breastfeeding for less than one year is showing that it also slightly lowers breast cancer risk.
I breastfed both of my sons and I encourage you to take it day by day. Listen to and trust your body to respond to your baby's needs for nursing, and in turn, you will have personal results that will carry through your lifespan. You can do this for you.
Breastfeeding rates are improving as nursing in public becomes a more comfortable experience for both mommas and those around them. There are still more strides that need to be made to help mommas be more comfortable, and you are awesome for choosing and committing to breastfeed.
Please contact me for breastfeeding questions and assistance by clicking here. Also, dial 2-1-1 to be directly connected to a lactation consultant 24/7. Local breastfeeding groups can be found on Facebook in your area and checking out the Inland Empire Resources on the My Bump to Bundle website here. Knowing where to get help and support puts you halfway toward being able to breastfeed for the long term.
If you or someone you know is currently receiving chemo or radiation therapies for breast cancer, please take advantage of the October special of the My Bump to Bundle Treatment Aid blend. Used by fellow mommas across the nation, this mom-made and insured blend helps to relieve the symptoms from these therapies. Read more by clicking here.
Sending you hugs and support, Momma!