Objectives: Emerging research has found lasting benefits of breast feeding for long term maternal health, including help in reduction in risk of chronic disease, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. In this review, the evidence for the beneficial effects of breast feeding on maternal health will be discussed.
Methods: Literatures published in Pubmed until October 2017 were searched.
Results: Increased duration of lactation was associated with a lower prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. There is a statistically significant inverse association between breastfeeding and maternal risk of type 2 diabetes. Higher lactation intensity and longer duration were independently associated with lower 2-year incidences of diabetes after gestational diabetes mellitus pregnancy. Breastfeeding was associated with reduced risk of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer.
Conclusion: Breastfeeding benefits mothers. It can prevent breast cancer, reduce cardiovascular disease, and might reduce a woman’s risk of diabetes, endometrial and ovarian cancer.