Breastfeeding, It’s Not Just Great for Babies

I’m sure everyone knows that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We are seeing pink everywhere.  But, there is something that isn’t really talked about for some reason or another. I guess it’s too risque. Please.

Yale researchers did a study in 2001 (TEN YEARS AGO) that showed if women breastfed their children for at LEAST 24 months, their risk of getting breast cancer decrease by 50%!!!!

My theory (which I’m such isn’t unique to me) is that the LACK of breastfeeding or early weaning increases your risk. Because breastfeeding is physiologically NORMAL, it would make sense that those who do are more likely to NOT develop breast cancer (and ovarian, uterine, and cervical!).

Pregnant mamas, I would say that the first thing you need to do is make sure that the facility you give birth in is designated as “Baby Friendly.”

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation based on the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for Hospitals.

Unfortunately, at least for those mamas who are local to me-as of October 5, 2011, there is not ONE is South Carolina. Now,  I suspect our birth centers probably fall into this category, they just haven’t been designated.

So, the next best thing I can suggest is to build a GREAT support group. The Upstate has two very active La Leche Leagues-one in Greenville at Natural Baby and the other is in Spartanburg at Labors of Love.

For those moms who are breastfeeding, bravo! It can be very difficult given the views that society has imprinted on us. And the next time someone makes a comment, removes a picture (cough facebook cough) just remember, you are doing the VERY best thing for yourself and your family.


Reference: http://news.yale.edu/2001/01/25/breast-cancer-risk-reduced-50-percent-breastfeeding-two-or-more-years

http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/eng/03.html

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2 thoughts on “Breastfeeding, It’s Not Just Great for Babies

  1. Some hospitals maybe not be technically designated to be pro nursing…but I had my first son at St. Fransis in Greenville 2 1/2 yrs ago and a lactation consultant came by to see me several times while in the hospital and my nurses where all helpful and supportive of me breastfeeding. And I just had a baby at the new Greer hospital in May 2011 and all my nurses there were very helpful and supportive and my lactation consultant. Even though it took 8 hours after he was born before we could get him to latch on and really eat, I was getting worried they were going to start telling me I had to give formula or something but it was never even mentioned. They just kept telling me to keep trying and tried to help me, but when he was finally ready he latched right on and ate well and has continued to do so. He is almost 6 months old now and is over 17lbs already on only breastmilk.

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