Good news for breastfeeding moms! A recent study suggests that mothers who breastfeed their kids for longer are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis compared to moms who breastfed for only a short time, or those who skipped breastfeeding entirely.
Breast is best!
It has long been known that breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for both the child, and the mother. And a recent study has found that lowering the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) for mothers is among those benefits.
Researchers conducted a study on 400 mothers who were diagnosed with MS, and found that mothers who breastfed for 15 months or longer were 53% less likely to acquire the dreaded condition. MS is a disease that causes damage to the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, sometimes resulting in permanent disability, such as losing the ability to walk.
However, the researchers still haven’t discovered why women who breastfeed have a lower risk of acquiring MS, they only proved that there is indeed a connection between longer breastfeeding and reduced risk of acquiring MS.
Nicholas LaRocca, vice president of health care delivery and policy research for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society shares, “I think what we’ve been learning in recent years is that the immune system, which we knew was complicated, is more complicated than we thought and has a number of other relationships with other parts and aspects of the body.”
“I think where you go from here is to see if these results can be replicated, but also to try to fit this in with everything else we know about the risk of MS.”
Over 2.5 million worldwide suffer from MS, and it’s an incurable disease. MS also affects more women of childbearing age compared to men or older women.
Breastfeeding has numerous benefits
In addition to lowering the risk of MS for moms, breastfeeding also can significantly lower the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, as well as heart attack. The longer a mother breastfeeds can also help increase their resistance to those diseases.
Breastfeeding has also been known to boost a child’s immune system, and breast milk is a complete food that’s perfectly suited for a growing baby’s needs. Some studies have also shown that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of obesity in children, which can benefit their health as they grow older.
Doctors recommend that moms breastfeed their child starting from birth, and for as long as possible in order to reap the benefits.
Source: webmd.com, mayoclinic.org
READ: Breastfeeding makes a mom’s heart healthier, says study