Saturday, April 25, 2009

the benefits of breast-feeding ... or the risks of not breast-feeding

The breastfeeding message can easily be understated or overlooked when midwives are focusing on promoting normal birth. Normal initiation of breastfeeding is simply part of the normal birth continuum: it doesn't need much in the way of special skill from the midwife, or any gadgets or education for the mother.

Breastfeeding is the next step in normal birth. As long as unhelpful interferences such as separation of mother and baby, or imposed times of feeding, or supplements, teats, dummies, or careless chemical inhibition of normal hormone production are avoided, the healthy newborn child and healthy new mother discover the delights of breastfeeding together: each learning their own part.

To review the process of normal initiation of breastfeeding go to

From Heartwire
Breast Is Best: New WHI Data Extend CV Benefits of Breast-Feeding to Mom
Lisa Nainggolan

April 23, 2009 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) — "Women who breast-fed for a year or more were less likely to develop hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease when postmenopausal than women who were pregnant but never breast-fed, a new analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) has found [1]. Dr Eleanor Bimla Schwarz (University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Healthcare, PA) and colleagues report their findings in the May 2009 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

"We were able to show that benefits were visible in anyone with six or more months' lifetime duration of breast-feeding," Schwarz told heartwire, with those who reported a lifetime history of more than 12 months' lactation being 10% to 15% less likely to have hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and CVD than those who never breast-fed.

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