Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women [12,87-89].
In a pooled analysis of data from 47 studies, mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total (combined duration of breastfeeding for all children) of one year were slightly less likely to get breast cancer than those who never breastfed .
Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total of two years got about twice the benefit of those who breastfed for a total of one year. Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total of more than two years got even more benefit .
Although data are limited, breastfeeding for less than one year may also modestly lower breast cancer risk .
For a summary of research studies on breastfeeding and breast cancer, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.
Learn about other healthy lifestyle behaviors that may lower breast cancer risk.
Breastfeeding has other benefits for mothers, including lowering the risk of [90-91]:
Susan G. Komen’s breast self-awareness messages
1. Know your risk
2. Get screened
3. Know what is normal for you and see a health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes (see images):
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices