Breastfeeding Cuts Moms' Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

Good news mommies. New findings in the upcoming May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology claim mothers who breastfed were 10% percent less likely to develop heart disease or suffer a stroke than women who had never breastfed. The study, which involved nearly 140,000 postmenopausal women, also showed women who breastfed for at least one month had less diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; from EurekAlert!

The benefits of breastfeeding are innumerable. Previous reports pin breastfeeding to breast cancer prevention, less likelihood of children becoming obese and reduced risk of allergies. Last year, it was reported 77% of new moms are breastfeeding. Not too shabby.

But some breastfeeding news can be icky. A Swiss restaurant was told no, they can’t serve human breast milk. Although, the story about the Chinese cop who breastfed infants in need during the rescue effort following last year’s deadly earthquake is heartwarming.

Image credit: HypeBeast

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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Paige - April 22, 2009 9:38 AM

Why is there a picture of a baby with a bottle on a story about breastfeeding? Bottle-feeding can truly harm the breastfeeding relationship between a mother and her infant. If fed formula, a mother's milk supply can dwindle as a result of reduced demand. If fed pumped milk from a bottle, a baby's latch can suffer because of the much different way the baby extracts milk from a bottle vs. breast. The baby can also come to prefer the bottle because of the faster flow rate and begin to refuse the breast (nipple confusion). While this isn't a problem right away, a baby who refuses the breast will need to be pumped for. Two problems there: it's a huge investment in mom's time, and the pump does a much worse job than baby at extracting milk and inducing demand, thus decreasing the amount of milk left to give baby, and increasing the chance that mom will have to use formula.

Now of course there are many breastfeeding mothers who successfully use bottles and breast to feed baby. There is no problem there, if that is working for them. But just as you don't promote the 10% of less-nutritious foods that Dr. Fuhrman says can accompany an otherwise healthy diet on this website, I think neither should a method of feeding which is not ideal and in many cases hurtful be portrayed.

Gerry Pugliese - April 22, 2009 9:45 AM

Hey Paige-

Calm down. It's just a cartoon.


Outdoorgrrl - April 22, 2009 1:50 PM

It seems sort of weird that a study would compare the cancer rates of mothers who breastfed to the cancer rates of all women, some of whom would never have had an opportunity to breastfeed at all.

Emily - April 22, 2009 9:58 PM

I agree with Paige. This is one of the reasons so many women don't breastfeed - a culture that is so pro-bottle/formula that they're used to seeing it everywhere and seeing babies at the breast is extremely rare. It may seem like a benign cartoon, but seeing an image of a bottle every day in every reference to babies makes a huge impact on our views of culture norms.

James - April 22, 2009 11:29 PM

Lets get a grip, ladies. The cartoon is just a humorous anecdote, not "pro-bottle" propaganda.

Jordan - April 24, 2009 8:37 AM

If it's any consolation, the end of that bottle appears exactly how I always imagined Jessica Rabbits nipples would look.

Heidi - March 16, 2012 11:40 PM

It's funny, the only people telling the pro breastfeeding women on here to "calm down" are men. Men are absolutely ignorant of the difficulties women go through to nurse their children. I'm currently still breastfeeding my 2.5 year old. It's been a difficult journey and cartoons like this do NOT help. People associate bottles with babies, not breasts. Men want the breasts to be their sex objects. We live in such a backwards country, even our infants are eating SAD (that would be formula--because lab created anything is waaaaay better than God could create!).

In one psych study, researchers told half the participants that a certain supermodel breastfeed her baby. The participants guessed her intelligence to be vastly lower than the other half of participants guessed her intelligence to be after being told she formula fed.

Men on here: you are no help to women who are trying to do the best for their babies, despite the stares, sneers, rude comments of others. Get educated.

That all said: I've read like, 5 of Dr. Fuhrman's books, including "Disease proof your Child". Dr. Fuhrman is very pro breastfeeding and I hold high regard for him! One day I hope to meet him. I'll be shaking with excitement. Better than any celebrity! :). So I am sure this was inadvertent.

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