It is known that optimal breastfeeding improves IQ, immunity, decreases risk of diabetes and could save over 800000 children’s lives a year worldwide, due to its protection from infection. However, what is not known that breastfeeding can has large protective influence on cancer for children AND for mom. Mirna Sabbagh, nutritionist , Dietitian and IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) at myPediaclinic (Voted best pediatric clinic in Dubai) discusses the following link in the following article and interview on MBC1.
What benefits does breastfeeding have for mother?
The LANCET, the largest medical journal did a review on breastfeeding world wide and issues in 2016 and estimate that breastfeeding could prevent an extra 20000 deaths from breast cancer every year. Women who breastfeed have less rates of breast cancer from women who do not. This is not the only benefit, as it has also been shown to help mother lose weight and get back into pre-pregnancy shape, in addition to protection from ovarian cancer.
What could be the reason behind breastfeeding women having less breast cancer from non-breastfeeding women?
Women who are exclusively breastfeeding do not get their periods and have lower estrogen circulating which is preventive of breast cancer and possibly ovarian cancer. This is one of the lesser known benefits of breastfeeding in developed countries which have a higher risk of breast cancer.
This depends on 2 things: exclusivity of breastfeeding (hasriyya) and duration (length of time). Women are supposed to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, and continue breastfeeding with the introduction of complementary foods after 6 months and until 2 years or older as per the WHO recommendations.
The longer women breast feed the more they are protected against breast cancer especially in developed countries. This neglect is particularly important in high-income countries, where fewer than one in every five children are breastfed by the age of 12 months.
Does it protect children from cancer as well?
Research is being done now on a molecule from in breastmilk called HAMLET which has anti-cancer properties protecting against Leukemia. It is dose dependant and now they are working on using HAMLET for medications to protect cancer all over the world.
Watch Mirna Sabbagh, nutritionist , Dietitian and IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) at myPediaclinic (Voted best pediatric clinic in Dubai) discusses the following link in the following in an interview on MBC1.