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Media Release: Health Benefits of Breastfeeding Extend Well Beyond Infancy

For Immediate Release

Contact: (847) 519-7730: Mary Lofton, PRManager at llli.org, ext. #271 or Mary Hurt, PRAssociate at llli.org, ext. #286

Schaumburg, IL (May 2004)- The prestigious medical journal Lancet has recently published the results of a new study that demonstrates infants who are fed human milk have 14% lower cholesterol as adults than their formula fed counterparts. It has been estimated that even a 10% reduction in cholesterol would cut cardiovascular disease by a quarter.

Breastfeeding's immunological, nutritional and health benefits for babies has long been documented. Until recently, the life extending benefits of breastfeeding for adults has not been as well understood.

This study reaffirms the opinion that breastfeeding has benefits that extend well-beyond infancy. Previous research has shown a relationship between breastfeeding and weight control in later life. Human milk feeding has also been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In light of increasing evidence of the lifelong health benefits of breastfeeding, it is more important than ever that mothers receive the information, education and support they need to initiate and continue breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is most successful when a mother has information and encouragement and the opportunity to interact with other breastfeeding women. Having a support system gives her the self-confidence to respond freely to her baby's cues and to make her own decisions about how to raise her children.

La Leche League International (LLLI) provides breastfeeding information and support to mothers in over sixty countries around the globe. Local Groups, led by trained LLL Leaders (volunteers who have nursed their own babies), help other mothers with breastfeeding questions and problems. Monthly meetings feature open-ended discussions about breastfeeding and related aspects of child care.

Topics covered during the series of meetings include the advantages of breastfeeding; preparing for the baby to come home; the art of breastfeeding and avoiding difficulties; and starting solids, weaning, and family nutrition.

For breastfeeding information or to find an LLLI Group in your area contact LLLI's information-packed Web site at www.lalecheleague.org or call (847) 519-7730.

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