Breastfeeding Lowers the Risk of Breast Cancer
Breastfeed or formula feed? This is one of the first decisions new parents will have to make for their infant. We at PINK show no preference either way. The way you choose to feed your child is a very personal decision that requires consideration of many factors. As October is coming to a close, I would like to take a moment to discuss one topic that many women may not consider when making the decision to either breastfeed or formula feed their infant. That topic is breast cancer.
During October, millions of Americans take time to show their support for all the women who have been affected by breast cancer. They pledge money, participate in activities to raise awareness, and purchase products that donate proceeds to breast cancer
research. Doctors and researchers use this month to share new findings and to
remind people of the progress that has been made to eradicate this disease. Many women also use this month as a reminder to have their own breast health examined by a physician.
Though the month of October is the official breast cancer awareness month, women need to remember the importance of breast health all year long. There are many factors that can affect a women’s chance of developing breast cancer. One of those factors is breast feeding. According to research, breastfeeding for a lifetime total of one year (combined total for breastfeeding of all children) slightly lowers a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Women who breastfeed for a lifetime total of two years have twice the benefit in lowering their risk, and so on. Some women who know they are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer due to factors such as age, genetics, and lifestyle may choose to breastfeed their child to help counteract the likelihood of developing the disease.
Becoming a mother is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. It is not a time when women want to stop and think, “What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer so I can be around to watch my child grow up?”. The truth is, when preparing to welcome a child into their lives, women should be even more diligent about keeping up on their health to ensure no illness goes undetected. In the fall of 2005, I watched my
friend welcome her third daughter. Just ten months later, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Women should always be conscious of their breast health because cancer will not “skip” someone just because they have a new baby.
As breast cancer awareness month is coming to a close, I would like to take a moment and remind mothers that even though we place emphasis on it during this month, breast health is important all year long. Staying educated and aware of breast health issues and concerns is the best way for women to protect themselves from disease.
Understandably, lowering the risk of developing breast cancer will probably not be one of the deciding factors in whether or not a mother chooses to breastfeed. She may not even know it is a factor at all! PINK believes it is important for mothers to know all the benefits for both mother and baby when deciding whether to breastfeed or formula feed her infant.
*If you have questions or concerns, or you need to talk more in depth about this topic, please contact PINK Newborn Services at www.pinknewbornservices.com or toll free at (877) 456- PINK. Stay up to date with the latest hot topics, discussions, and contests on PINK Newborn Services Facebook and Twitter pages!