Breastfeeding Benefit For Mothers
The longer a woman breastfeeds her babies, the lower her risk of high blood pressure may be later in life. This news comes from a study that looked at the health of more than 3,000 postmenopausal South Korean women participating in a national health and nutrition study. The researchers found that women who breastfed five or more children had a 51 percent lower risk of high blood pressure than women who didn’t breastfeed or breastfed only one child. Those who breastfed the most – from 96 to 324 months total- were 45 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than women who breastfed for shorter periods of time. However, the South Korean researchers reported that the reduced risk of high blood pressure due to breastfeeding was less pronounced among obese women. The team suggested that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by “resetting” maternal metabolism, which lowers the risk of obesity related diseases. Another possibility: breastfeeding may lower the risk through the release of oxytocin, a hormone that plays a role in bonding and female reproductive functions, the researchers wrote.
Sangshin Park and Nam-Kyong Choi, “Breastfeeding and Maternal Hypertension.” American Journal of Hypertension, January 20, 2018, doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpx219
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