Isn't it amazing? Yet another link in the intergenerational cycle of life. This study collected data from 139,681 postmenopausal women. A 10% reduction in heart disease, stroke and heart attack was found among women that had breastfed, even 35 years after they stopped breastfeeding.
Even if a woman has breastfed for just 1 month, there is a reduction of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes all of which contribute to heart disease. Any breastfeeding is better than none, but the protection rises with a longer duration.
When promoting breastfeeding to our peers, relatives and co-workers, it is important to educate them on the intergenerational cycle of fertility which includes the post partum period and breastfeeding. This is just the tip of the iceberg as more studies link women's health to the inclusion of breastfeeding as an important way the body recovers from pregnancy and delivery.
Lead author Dr. Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Pitt states, "we always hear it's good for babies and their health and hear less about the benefits for women. This joins other studies in showing breast-feeding has an important role in helping women recover from pregnancy."
More studies are needed that look at exclusive breastfeeding. Most studies look at any breastfeeding. Who knows what the benefits are for women who exclusively breastfeed for at least the first 6 months and continue to breastfeed for 2 years or more.