Breastfeeding Can Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Every year in August, people around the world celebrate and spread awareness about the many benefits of breastfeeding. The World Breastfeeding Week Organization highlights how breastfeeding is the “key to Sustainable Development” in various aspects of life.

Here are ways breastfeeding can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals according to the org:

  • Reduces poverty by providing a low-cost way of feeding babies and children
  • Improves health and wellbeing of mothers as well as improved development and survival of infants
  • Empowers mothers to feel supported by society to breastfeed optimally, leading to gender inequality
  • Saves water by providing all the water a baby needs in an eco-friendly way, while formula feeding requires access to clean water and sanitation
  • Reduces fossil fuels by less usage and production of formula
  • Increases likelihood of employers allowing mothers to breastfeed in the workplace or creating programs that are maternity sensitive

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we at Komen Austin want to highlight the benefits that breastfeeding has to offer. There are many lifestyle factors that can reduce the risk of breast cancer such as maintaining a healthy weight, eliminating alcohol intake and having children before the age of 30. What a lot of people may not know is that breastfeeding is also a factor in reducing the risk of breast cancer.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, breast tissue is shed causing potentially damaged cells to be removed. Research shows that a woman’s risk for breast cancer was reduced by 4.3% for every year that she breastfed, compared to mothers who did not breastfeed. The study also concluded that the longer the mother breastfed for, the lower her risk became. It should be noted that the time period spent breastfeeding could be with either one child or multiple children.

For more information about World Breastfeeding Week visit http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/.

For more information about breastfeeding and breast cancer risk visit https://ww5.komen.org/Breastcancer/Notbreastfeeding.html