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World Cancer Day 2021: Can Breastfeeding Reduce Cancer Risk In Women? Find Out Here

World Cancer Day 2021: Breastfeeding is not just beneficial to your baby's healthy but it is a blessing to your health too. According to studies, breastfeeding helps in reducing cancer risk in women.

World Cancer Day 2021: Can Breastfeeding Reduce Cancer Risk In Women? Find Out Here

World Cancer Day 2021: Breastfeeding is linked with lower cancer risk in women

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. February 4 is observed as world cancer day
  2. The theme for the World Cancer Day 2021 is 'I am and I will'
  3. Breastfeeding can reduce cancer risk in women, says studies

World Cancer Day 2021: Breastfeeding is a boon for the newborn. It is healthy to give the child breastmilk for the first few months. Mother's milk is sufficient for more than half a child's nutritional needs. It is a well-known fact that breastfeeding the baby can give the child a healthy start and better immunity. . The first milk, known as 'colostrum' is rich in antibodies, and boosts a baby's immunity, while his/her own immune system is still developing. But, what is relatively less known is that breastfeeding also gives women a healthier life, by lowering their breast, ovarian and uterine cancer

World Cancer Day 2021: The benefits of breastfeeding for the mother


Researchers have been working on the findings for a while now, and have discovered that women who breastfeed for at least 6 months, lower their risk of pre-menopausal and post-menopausal cancer. It protects them against ovarian and uterine cancer too. It also reduces a child's likelihood of being obese in the later years, which can be one of causes for certain types of cancers.

Since lactating mothers experience hormonal changes, their menstrual cycle is delayed and they release lesser oestrogen, which tends to promote the growth of these cells. During this time, they also shed breast tissue, which removes cells with potential DNA damage.

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Breastfeeding provides optimum nutrition to the newborn and reduces breast cancer risk of the mother
Photo Credit: iStock

Similarly, when a mother is feeding her baby mother's milk, she is not ovulating. The lesser she ovulates, the lesser the exposure to oestrogen and abnormal cells that could trigger ovarian cancer.

Statistics and findings say what mothers and grandmothers have always recommended - to breastfeed the child exclusively, for at least 6 months to improve the child's health, as well yours. This means the child is not given any other kind of liquids or formula milk apart from mother's milk. The longer you do it, the more you are protected. Many women continue to breastfeed their babies for up to a year or so.

After the first few months of just mother's milk, you can consult your paediatrician and slowly start feeding the baby semi-solids like boiled potatoes, 'khichdi', fruit pulp or boiled vegetables which are mashed.

The longer a woman breastfeeds her child, or multiple children, the greater her chances of not having breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.

Despite the various benefits, many new moms find breastfeeding a challenge. Though women are often taught to believe that it is the most natural thing in the world, each mother's experience of feeding her baby can be different and unique. A new mother can always reach out to her gynaecologist or seek the help of a lactation consultant, who can help her initiate into the process.

The most important thing while nursing your baby is to enjoy this phase of motherhood, while giving yourself sufficient rest and nutritious food.

(Dr. Garima Jain is MBBS, DNB (OBG), Sr. Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrics at Apollo Cradle)


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