Feature

Mothers who breast-feed

Breast-feeding may help moms' health as much as babies'

Babies aren’t necessarily the only ones who benefit from breast-feeding, said BBC News. A new University of Pittsburgh study found that there may be health benefits for mothers, too. In addition to “cutting the risk of heart problems, breast-feeding for more than a year cut the risk of high blood pressure by 12 percent, and diabetes and high cholesterol by around 20 percent.”

And the benefits endure even later in life, said eFitness Now. Women who breast-fed are 10 percent less likely than those who didn’t to suffer strokes. “The health benefits for the baby are numerous, with breast milk credited with protecting against obesity, diabetes, asthma, and other ailments,” so the arguments for breast-feeding are getting stronger all the time.

That’s what glossy magazines say, said Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic. Medical literature tells a different story. “It shows that breast-feeding is probably, maybe, a little better,” but the evidence isn't as conclusive as La Leche Leaguers say. Breast-feeding health benefits are a plus, but weigh them against negatives—“modesty, independence, career, sanity”—because those matter, too.

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