The fascinating way breastfeeding could save your life.

We all know breastfeeding delivers an abundance of nutrients to our offspring, but new research has revealed it can also be life saving for a mother.

According to a recent study by the George Institute, breastfeeding may significantly reduce a mothers risk of heart-attack or stroke later in life.

Researchers studied 300, 000 women in rural and urban areas of China over an eight year period and made some remarkable discoveries:

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Mothers who breastfed their babies had a nine percent lower risk of heart disease and an eight percent lower risk of stroke compared to mothers who never breastfed.

Among mothers who breastfed each of their babies for two years or more, heart disease risk was 18 percent lower and stroke risk was 17 per cent lower than among mothers who had never breastfed.

Each additional six months of breastfeeding per baby was associated with a four percent lower risk of heart disease and a three per cent lower risk of stroke.

Previous studies have suggested that mothers only derived short-term metabolic health benefits from breastfeeding, such as a lower cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels and weight loss after pregnancy (and here we were thinking it just made us ravenous zombies).

It is important to note that researchers stress that “fed is best” for any infant so not to place any undue pressure on mothers, who for their own personal reasons, do not breastfeed.

This post was originally appeared on The Delivery. and has been republished with full permission.

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