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Long-term Maternal Benefits of Breastfeeding

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

Original research by Adetola Louis-Jaques, MD and Alison Stuebe, MD, MSC; Abstract written by Ifunanya Onyima, MS, RD




The benefits associated with breastfeeding are well-documented. This article is a meta-analysis which reviews current recommendations related to breastfeeding, affects of breastfeeding on maternal health outcomes, rates of families who breastfeed and strategies that help parents reach their breastfeeding goals.


“Breastfeeding is associated with many health benefits including reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers”

Thirty-six peer-reviewed studies and professional organizations were analyzed for the synthesis of this article. Breastfeeding is associated with many health benefits including reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Healthy People 2020 goals reported that four out of five of their objectives related to breastfeeding were not met, while Bartick et al. found an association between sub-optimal breastfeeding rates and risk for premature maternal death.


Because it is unethical to ask a woman to breastfeed or not breastfeed for the sake of scientific research, most breastfeeding studies are only observational. Confounding factors for the affect of breastfeeding on maternal health include the positive association of breastfeeding and lean body mass, economic stability, education status and decreased tobacco use.


This article is an appropriate synthesis consisting of excellent peer-reviewed studies and succinct explanation of current breastfeeding recommendations and trends.



Source(s)

Louis-Jacques, Adetola, and Alison Stuebe. “Long-Term Maternal Benefits of Breastfeeding.” Contemporary OB/GYN 63, no. 7 (July 2018): 26–29.


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