Breast cancer: breastfeeding is also good for the mother's health

We know that privileging breastfeeding for her newborn is beneficial. But moms are often unaware that breastfeeding is also beneficial to their own health, especially breast cancer, as a new survey reveals. Essential information for October Rose.

Comprised of water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, salts and trace elements, breast milk contains the nutrients needed to feed the newborn during the first six months of life. It promotes the immune system through the many antibodies it contains and limits the risk of various pathologies. It even improves the intestinal flora to make it more resistant to infections.

Studies have shown that breastfed babies have a lower risk of ear infections, allergies, diarrhea and gastroenteritis.

Only 16% of women informed

But the child is not the only beneficiary of breastfeeding. Problem: Too few mothers are informed by their doctor. A new survey, published in the medical journal Breastfeeding Medicine, reveals that while almost 60% of breastfeeding mothers know the link between breastfeeding and breast cancer risk reduction, only 16% say they learned it from a health professional.

"This is worrying," said lead researcher Bhuvana Ramaswamy. He believes that "women should be informed that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer and improve the health of the mother."

20,000 preventable breast cancers each year

According to scientific estimates, 20,000 breast cancers could be avoided each year if more mothers around the world were breastfeeding. Each breastfeeding period of 12 months would reduce the risk of breast cancer by 4.3%.

For this survey, researchers at Ohio State University studied 724 women who had at least one child. Of these, 92% reported breastfeeding. But only one in two women said they were aware of the link between prolonged breastfeeding and reduced risk of breast cancer before making the decision. Of those who did not breastfeed, 59% said that knowledge of this risk reduction would have affected their choice to breastfeed or not!

The duty of doctors to inform patients

"As a medical community, we have a responsibility to ensure that our patients have reliable knowledge," said Bhuvana Ramaswamy. "When they come from a professional, medical information is much more likely to influence people's choices, and for breast cancer in particular, prevention is the best outcome." Above all, this breastfeeding has a better chance of integrating into a better care of the mother: nutritional intake rich in calcium and vitamins ...

This investigation is part of a larger project led by Ohio University researchers on the specific mechanisms of breastfeeding to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.