Skip to comments.Risk: How a Baby May Save Your Joints
Posted on 11/12/2004 8:08:41 PM PST by neverdem
Women who breast-feed have a lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, even decades later, researchers have found. And the longer they nurse their babies, the smaller the risk becomes.
The findings grow out of the long-term Nurses' Health Study, which has followed the health of more than 120,000 women since 1976. The study, led by Dr. Elizabeth W. Karlson of Brigham and Women's Hospital, a Harvard affiliate, appears in the current issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that can destroy the joints, affects women much more often than it does men. Some scientists have theorized that male hormones may help hold the disease in check.
Indeed, the authors of this study said they had thought they would find that breast-feeding increased the risk for the illness, on the theory that the hormone prolactin, which rises when women nurse, might serve as a kind of trigger.
"However," they wrote, "our findings demonstrated the opposite."
The study also found that women from 30 to 35 with irregular menstrual cycles had a greater chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis later in life.
Among the women studied, those who reported having breast-fed for 13 to 23 months were one-fifth as likely as women who had not breast-fed to develop the arthritis. Those who said they had breast-fed for at least two years reduced their risk by half.
The researchers said their study did not confirm earlier findings that women who used oral contraceptives lowered their risk of the disease. And although rheumatoid arthritis often comes at the time of menopause, the study found no difference among women who had hormone therapy.
But God forbid you feed the kid in public. That might OFFEND someone.
Lower risk of breast cancer; lower risk of arthritis; stronger, smarter healthier babies; cheaper than formula: why do anything else?
"But God forbid you feed the kid in public. That might OFFEND someone."
Yep, it is offensive. Take it to the bathroom or stay at home.
Interesting. Hope the future mothers hear about this so they will choose to nurse Baby rather than bottlefeed Baby. Thanks, ND
Even with a blanket over the shoulder?
How dare you discuss hard drugs on this forum!
I agree - open breast feeding where the woman just flops out her teet and the baby goes to town is a bit too much for me. I'm prudish enough to be uncomfortable when a woman breast feeds with everything covered. Nursing is a wonderful thing, but should be enjoyed privately.
Some would say that news sucks...
'Even with a blanket over the shoulder?'
Why does anything go now? A women I know breast feeds at Mass with a blanket over her and it's just wrong. Stay home or go to the bathroom.
Urination is god-given and natural, too, but lets not do that in public, either.
At mass? Well I think a woman should use judgment in where she nurses, but a woman can't always run home or to the bathroom.
Why don't you eat YOUR meal in the bathroom? If you're offended by a mother discretely breastfeeding her child, you've got issues.
How long is Mass?
Even a very young infant goes for two hours or more with out food.
Stuff he kid full of milk before and after...LOL
LOL yeah let the baby fast before communion ;-)
I agree. Unless you're a refugee fleeing a warzone, it's not likely that you couldn't have done a little planning and nursed somewhere in relative privacy BEFORE you trotted off to the mall or out for lunch. Some people just like making a spectacle of themselves.
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