The study involved a follow-up of 280 women and their children from 2018 to 2021.

Study Reveals Long-Term Heart Health Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mothers

A recent study has uncovered an unexpected advantage for maternal cardiovascular health: breastfeeding for a duration of six months or more seems to diminish the likelihood of developing cardiovascular issues in mothers for a period of at least three years post-delivery.

This cardiovascular advantage is particularly significant for women who have encountered complicated pregnancies, a factor that can amplify the chances of future cardiovascular disease (CVD) occurrence.

Published in the International Breastfeeding Journal, the study indicates that women who breastfed their babies for a minimum of six months exhibited sustained reductions in blood pressure and body weight recovery (BMI) up to three years after childbirth.

Professor Claire Roberts, who spearheads the Pregnancy Health and Beyond research group at Flinders University, highlighted the positive implications for women with pregnancy complications. These women demonstrated lower blood pressure and enhanced cholesterol levels three years postpartum.

Breastfeeding contributes to mitigation of cardio metabolic risk factors among women

The findings suggest that breastfeeding contributes to the mitigation of cardio metabolic risk factors among women, which is particularly encouraging for new mothers who may be at risk of developing forthcoming cardiovascular and metabolic ailments, as stated by Roberts.

Given the association between pregnancy complications and later cardiovascular disease risk, as well as the potential impact on the metabolic health of their offspring, the study’s outcomes hold significance.

In conjunction with the neurological and other advantages for infants, the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the initial six months and continued breastfeeding beyond one year to significantly curtail chronic hypertension and diabetes among women.

The study involved a follow-up of 280 women and their children from 2018 to 2021.

Dr. Maleesa Pathirana from the University of Adelaide commented on the study’s results, stating, “Our findings indicate an overall improvement in cardiovascular health.” She noted that women who breastfed for at least six months exhibited notable reductions in body mass index, blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and central blood pressure compared to those who didn’t breastfeed for the same duration.

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Furthermore, the study underlines the significance of breastfeeding for women who faced major pregnancy complications like preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and gestational diabetes. These women, when breastfeeding for at least six months, experienced lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol profiles, and reduced insulin levels compared to those who didn’t breastfeed for a similar duration.

The researchers recommended expanding the investigation to a more extensive sample size of breastfeeding women compared to those who opt not to breastfeed. They also emphasized the necessity for interventions that foster breastfeeding, particularly in disadvantaged or low socioeconomic areas, with a specific focus on women who have had pregnancy complications, to mitigate their lifelong risk of cardiovascular disease.

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