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Why the Breast Is Best

Study Shows Why Breast-Feeding Is in the Woman’s Best Interest

There lots of talk about how breast-feeding benefits babies' health.  Here's a study that discusses how breast-feeding benefits womens' health.

There's lots of talk about how breast-feeding benefits babies' health. Here's a study that discusses how breast-feeding benefits womens' health.

To breast-feed or to bottle-feed?  That is the question.

Depending on who you ask, there are positives and negatives to either approach.  The breast-feeding fans (which include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American Dietetic Association) say the boons to it are endless.  Besides the bonding it brings, breast-feeding provides babies with the natural vitamins of breast milk, it’s more digestible and it helps protect them from a veritable smorgasbord of infections that tend to crop up in their early years (e.g. ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory infections).

But talk to the bottle-feeding followers, and they’ll tell you that the nutritional benefits of breast milk are slight and that the convenience of bottle-feeding far outweighs the perceived benefits of breastfeeding, slight as they are.

Like Democrats and Republicans, the two sides will likely never reach an accord.  And as polls of politicians wax and wane based on “what have you done for me lately,” the popularity of breast milk or bottle milk will rise or fall depending on the latest scientifically-backed study.

And considering the latest study that breast-feeding supports the health of women, a polling of women suggests the polls will tip in the favor of breast-feeding.

According to a 20-year study conducted by Kaiser Permanente, a health care organization based in Oakland, Calif., women who breastfed after pregnancy were up to 56 percent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome over the course of their lives (the likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome was influenced by how long they breastfed after pregnancy).

It’s not yet clear why breast-feeding women were less likely to have developed metabolic syndrome, but researchers think it may have something to do with their ability to lose more weight post-pregnancy.

Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term for a group of conditions that contribute to the risk of heart disease and the leading type of heart disease, coronary artery disease.  Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when someone has a combination of obesity (particularly around the waist), high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels and diabetes.  A May 2009 report from a National Health Statistics Survey found that 34 percent of 3,500 men and women met all the criteria for developing metabolic syndrome.  The survey found that men and women were more likely to have it if they were both advanced in years and advanced in weight.

Women should inform themselves of all the positives and negatives of breast-feeding and bottle-feeding and make their decision accordingly.  But if you’re asking my opinion, it’s preferable that women breast-feed—both for the health of the child.  And as this study indicates, for the long-term health of women.

Sources:
kidshealth.org
msnbc.msn.com
health.google.com
cdc.gov

Related Posts

  1. Women Who Breastfeed Reduce Their Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Shows
  2. Breastfeeding Gives Children Better Vision Than “Bottle-Fed” Babies, Study Finds
  3. Various Benefits of Breastfeeding
  4. Mammograms Offer No Protection Against Breast Cancer, Study Finds
  5. Yoga Provides Benefits To Women With Breast Cancer, Study Concludes
  


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