Local researcher finds new benefits to breastfeeding

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — D’Youville professor, Dr. Briana Jegier has her name on new research about the benefits of breastfeeding. Doctors say it’s the first study of it’s kind that looks at both the mother and child.

The study started three years ago. It shows breast feeding as recommended for a total of one year and exclusively for six months, could protect babies and their moms from premature death and series diseases. It can also save the U.S. more than $4.3 billion in health care and related costs.

Researchers say sub optimal breastfeeding is associated with more than 3,300 premature deaths which is costing the nation $3 billion in medical costs.

Study authors told News 4 the study shows the importance of providing women with the support they need to breastfeed their babies, beginning at birth.

Researchers say breastfeeding has always been looked at as a child issue, when in reality it’s a women’s health issue.

“Women face a lot of advice and we hear over and over again things you should do for your child and that’s important, we need to hear these messages that help our babies, but I think we also need to hear that this helps you. This isn’t just for your baby, it’s for your own health, and it’s a lot bigger than we thought it was before,” said Dr. Jegier.

Researchers say breastfeeding helps prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease, yet many women have no idea these benefits exist.

The study also addresses how important paid family leave is and the impacts it has on the lifelong health of women and children.

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