Breast Feeding Protects Against Depression By Mrs Vera West

     Following on from my article advising young ladies to have their families while one is young, then consider work, comes a study showing that breastfeeding protects against depression:

“Women who fed their babies naturally were almost two-thirds less likely to suffer from mental health problems. And the more children the greater was the effect, an international study found. The joint American and Korean study looked at mothers now in their 50s and older, who had gone through the menopause. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusively breastfeeding during the first six months of the baby’s life, but only a third of British mothers try it at all, and the figures are falling. Reduced government support, cuts in public health funding, and negative attitudes have been blamed for some of the worst breastfeeding rates in the world. Reduced government support, cuts in public health funding, and negative attitude have been blamed for some of the worst breastfeeding rates in the world. And the study supports mother who controversially breastfeed their children up to school age and beyond. Yesterday lead author Dr Sangshin Patk of Brown University, America, said: ‘Our study findings indicate that breastfeeding is beneficial, not only to infants’ short-term and long-term health, but also to maternal psychological health. ‘Expectant and new mothers could be informed about the long-term benefits of breastfeeding for their mental health. ‘Depression is not only itself a psychological dysfunction but also an important risk factor for various physical problems.’”

     Indeed; as well as these psychological benefits, breastfeeding also offers protection against breast cancer:

“A review of the latest scientific research on breast cancer shows that there is strong evidence that breast-feeding can reduce women's risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancers. A review of several studies has found strong evidence to suggest that a woman's breast cancer risk can be reduced if she breast-feeds her children. A report on the review, by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), has been released this week to mark World Breastfeeding Week. The report offers several possible explanations for how breast-feeding lowers breast cancer risk. One reason is that lactation delays when women start menstruating again after giving birth. This reduces lifetime exposure to hormones such as estrogen, which are linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Another way in which breast-feeding may lower breast cancer risk is that, after lactation, the breast sheds a lot of tissue during which it may also get rid of cells with damaged DNA, which can give rise to cancer.”

     It is almost as if Mother Nature wanted women to have babies and breastfeed, rather than being eternal wage slaves, like men!



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Saturday, 13 August 2022