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Delaying Pregnancy? Then Breastfeed!

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Tuesday, April 24, 2007 | 0 comments

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Women who put off pregnancy until they're older than age 25 have a new reason to breastfeed.

A new study suggests breastfeeding can protect older moms against the increased risk of breast cancer noted for women who have their first child after age 25. What's more, it appears to protect against both hormone positive and hormone negative cancers as well.

Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California explain women who have their first child before the age of 25, and those who have four or more children earlier in life, enjoy a reduced risk of hormone positive breast cancers. Their study, which looked at pregnancy, breastfeeding, and breast cancer in a large group of women age 55 and older, is the first to show breastfeeding protects against both hormone positive and hormone negative cancers, regardless of when women begin having children.

"Breastfeeding may have a protective effect that negates the increased risk of breast cancer associated with late pregnancies," study author Giske Ursin, M.D., Ph.D, was quoted as saying. "As more women may choose to delay pregnancy until after 25, it is important to note that breastfeeding provides protection against both estrogen and Progesterone receptor positive and negative tumors."

According to census figures, the average age for a first pregnancy in the United States is currently 25, and more and more women are choosing to delay pregnancy even longer as they pursue careers and other interests.


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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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