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Non-smoking mothers who breastfeed their kids for more than six months may be less prone to the risk of breast cancer, a new research has revealed. The same is not true for smoking mothers. Emilio Gonzalez-Jimenez, of the University of Granada in Spain, and his colleagues analysed the medical records of 504 female patients, who were between 19 to 91 years of age and who had been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer from 2004 to 2009 at one of the city s hospitals, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
Women who had not breastfed their babies were, on average, found to get breast cancer 10 years earlier than breastfeeding mothers.
In contrast, female smokers were diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age and obtained no significant benefit from a longer period of breastfeeding.
'The results suggest that for non-smokers, breastfeeding for more than six months not only provides children with numerous health benefits, but it also may protect mothers from breast cancer,' said Gonzalez-Jimenez.
What is breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding refers to the practice of feeding infants milk from the mammary glands. In fact it is recommended that one should start breastfeeding immediately after the infant s birth. Breast milk contains nutrients that are vital for the infant in the first few months. It contains high protein, Vitamin A and salts. Also since an infant s digestive system isn t developed enough to digest normal milk and it s inadvisable to substitute it for breast milk.
Why is breastfeeding important?
Breastfeeding, is essential for both the mother and the child. It helps create a bond between the mother and the baby and gives your child the immunity and nutritional boost it requires right after birth. It is recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization), La Leche League and the Indian Academy of Paediatricians, that a baby should be breastfed for at least the first two years of their life.
Some of its benefits are:
Vital for cognitive and sensory development
Along with nutritional values, experts are of the opinion that breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development in children and builds an infant s immunity. It also prevents infections and makes an infant less prone to chronic diseases
Good for the mother too!
Breastfeeding also contributes to a mother s health research has found a definite link between breastfeeding and reduced ovarian and breast cancer risk.
With inputs from IANS
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