But now a study has shown that breast feeding is good for the mother as well.
A study of almost 100,000 women has shown that those who breast fed were 24 per cent less likely to suffer a heart attack.
The US researchers say it could be because breast-feeding enables the mother’s body to get rid of excess fat built up during pregnancy.
Study leader Alison Steube of Harvard Medical School recommended that mothers breast feed for between three months and a year after the birth of their child – to be sure they benefit from the same effects.
She said: “Breastfeeding isn’t just good for babies – it’s good for mothers too.”
Dr Steube suggested that nursing a newborn may help a mother’s metabolism switch from pregnancy mode back to normal.
She said: “Pregnancy is associated with a number of things that you wouldn’t normally want to happen to your body.”
These includesd such things as storing more fat and having higher than normal levels of fatty acids circulating in the blood.
By breastfeeding, mothers can convert these energy reserves into nutrition for their infants.
This could help prevent arteries becoming furry or blocked – greatly reducing the chance of a heart attack.
Dr Steube studied 96,648 US women – all of them nurses – who gave birth between 1986 and 2002.
She found that those who had spent at least two years of their lives breast feeding were 19 per cent less likely to suffer a heart attack than those who hadn’t breast fed at all.
Well there it is ladies…yet another reason to breastfeed. Not only does the baby benefit, but so do you. How can you go wrong?