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Breastfeeding good for healthy heart

New findings reinforce the health benefits of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding could help reduce risk of developing heart disease, new research suggests.

A study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh found that women who breastfed their babies for at least 12 months were ten per cent less likely to develop strokes or heart disease.

In response to the findings, Sarah Montagu from the Association of Radical Midwives said: "In general breastfeeding is the physiological thing to do, it's what our bodies are built to do. So it's not surprising that breastfeeding is healthier.

"One of the advantages of breastfeeding apart from any implications it has for your health [is that] it's good for the baby, it gives you a feeling of satisfaction when you first start … there's a huge sense of achievement."

She added that as there isn't much of "a breastfeeding culture" in the UK, first-time mums are often left in the dark when it comes to learning the technique.

Ms Montagu explained that postnatal support "is crucial" to help new mothers understand the benefits of breastfeeding.

The most recent Infant Feeding Survey carried out in 2005 revealed that the incidence of breastfeeding increased between 2000 and 2005 in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Figures show that initial breastfeeding rates in 2005 were 78 per cent in England, 67 per cent in Wales, 70 per cent in Scotland and 63 per cent in Northern Ireland.

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