Dr. Shapiro completed his undergraduate education at UC San Diego, earning a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and a B.A. in Political Science. He furthered his education at UCLA where he earned a Masters Degree in Public…
Top 10 Benefits of Breastfeeding
Posted in Breastfeeding by Dr. Jeremy F. Shapiro on Jan 09, 2012
Even if you don’t have children, you’ve probably heard at least once that breast milk is the “gold standard.” Even formula companies acknowledge this, when they make claims as to why their formula is the closest thing out there to breast milk. But, I’m also pretty sure not everyone is aware of some of the research surrounding the benefits of breastfeeding, both for the baby and the breast-feeding mother. So with thanks to the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA,) I leave you with some interesting tidbits as to the benefits of breastfeeding.

For the baby:
1. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Reduction: I think many are already aware that breastfeeding reduces SIDS, one study found by about 50%.

2. Lung Function Improvement: A study found breastfeeding for 4 months improves lung volume in infants.

3. Osteoporosis Reduction: A nice Australian study found 8-year-olds who were breastfed for at least 3 months had improved bone mass.

4. Lower Blood Pressure: The longer an infant was breastfed, the lower the blood pressure in the future as older children.

5. Decreased obesity: This comes from a great longitudinal study out of Finland where infants who were breastfed until 5-7 months of age had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) at 60-years of age.
And for the mother:
6. Stress Reduction: After getting over the initial difficulties of learning how to breastfeed a baby, it really is a stress reducer.

7. Lower Blood Pressure: Blood pressure numbers not only fall during a breastfeeding session, but also prior to a breastfeeding session.

8. Cardiovascular Disease Reduction: Specifically, in postmenopausal women, those who breastfed had a lower risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

9. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Reduction: A study out of Sweden found that women who breastfed for 13 months were half as likely to develop RA as those who didn’t breastfeed.

10. Metabolic Syndrome Reduction: The development of metabolic syndrome; risk factors increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, was shown to be reduced in moms who breastfed.
So there you have it. And I would certainly enjoy hearing from mothers who breastfed about their experiences, both positive and the not-so-positive.

- Dr. Jeremy

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Thanks for your tips about breast-feeding for baby and mother. It's really good for children.Thanks a lot for your topic!!
By johnlasseter  Mar 12, 2012
Bravo for boobs! I breastfed my two kids who are now 14 and 16 years and my memories of it are happy ones, though it was certainly no picnic to pump at work. They are both lean and healthy now while many of their peers have weight issues, so I can't help but think it helped, although we certainly embrace a healthier activity and eating lifestyle than many of them as well. I'm not always the perfect Mom, but I'm sure glad I provided them with this perfect food for their first year!
By pianogirl  Jan 09, 2012
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