If new moms adhered to the recommended guidelines that urge them to breast-feed each child they give birth to for at least one year, they could theoretically stave off up to 5,000 cases of breast cancer, about 54,000 cases of hypertension and nearly 14,000 heart attacks annually.
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/06/07/more-breast-feeding-could-save-billions-and-prevent-thousands-of-breast-cancer-cases/#ixzz2VXPZv6pM
Any thoughts about this new study?
"And even Bartick notes that it’s impossible to know for sure if breast-feeding itself causes less disease or if women who breast-feed simply have healthier habits." See, that's the real problem here. Correlation doesn't equal causation. Women who breastfeed are often better educated and healthier to begin with. It's nice that they got an expert in causality, but his no doubt more extensive remarks are so boiled down in this piece as to be useless, and I can't access the original text, so I'm dubious that there is a real causative factor here.
IMO, breastfeeding is a choice women should be able to make if we want to and receive societal support. I wish that the rhetoric defending our rights to receive support didn't need to be couched so much in the purported health benefits of breastfeeding. Even if breastfeeding has no or minimal health benefits, it should still be a mother's choice how to feed her baby and mothers should still be able to access lactation assistance, get time off from work to pump, etc.
Breastfeeding was very important to me while I was doing it, but nearly every claim I have found for purported health benefits over formula has been overblown. The one exception seems to be protection from diarrheal disease. I want to support breastfeeding because I want to support parents in doing what feels right to them, not because of specious, scientific-sounding claims that fall down.