At some point during pregnancy, many of you have likely heard the term ‘breast is best’ in reference to breast milk being the best form of nutrition for infants. In fact, many mothers, breastfeeding or not, can likely spout out some common reasons as to why breast is best for babies. However, what many expecting and even current mothers do not know, are the many benefits breastfeeding has for maternal health. In addition to potential weight loss (thought that is obviously very important too), there are multiple positive health benefits that all mothers should consider when deciding on whether or not to breastfeed their infants. Below are five reasons breastfeeding is optimal for a mothers health too: 1. Breastfeeding helps prevent Breast Cancer. A 2002 study published in The Lancet, analyzed data from 47 individual studies from over 30 countries, and was able to determine that there was at least a 4.3% reduced risk of breast cancer in women who breastfed for at least 12 months, and that rate only increased the longer a woman breastfed, sometimes up to 25%. 2. Breastfeeding helps prevent maternal Diabetes Type II. According to UNICEF, a 2010 study concluded that for every year of breastfeeding, the risk for maternal Diabetes Type II was reduced by 14%. The risk continued to reduce the longer a mother breastfed. However, a mother who did not breastfeed had a 50% likelihood of being diagnosed with Diabetes Type II later in life. 3. Breastfeeding helps prevent Ovarian Cancer. In 2013, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that concluded that women who breastfed for 13 months had a 63% less likely chance of developing an ovarian tumor, and the longer they breastfed the more significantly their risk was lowered. 4. Breastfeeding helps prevent Endometrial Cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, studies showed a 58%-72% reduction in risk of endometrial cancer for women who did extended breastfeeding. However, the studies could not conclude that these benefits could be received during the age when getting endometrial cancer is most prevalent (55+). 5. Breastfeeding helps prevent Osteoporosis. While it is true that women lose calcium during lactation, according to the La Leche League (LLL), studies have shown that after a nursing mother weans, her bone density is not only fully restored within six months, it can be even stronger than before which can help to prevent Osteoporosis in the future. There you have it ladies, five reasons breast is best for YOU!