1 August, 2002
Breast Is Best – For Mum Too!
World Breastfeeding Week, 1 - 7 August 2002
World Breastfeeding Week launches today, Thursday 1 August. The week is celebrated in more than 120 countries worldwide
every year to highlight the health benefits of breastfeeding.
This year’s theme focuses on the reproductive health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers.
The timing of the launch coincides with the results of a study reported in The Lancet which found a direct link between
breastfeeding and protection against breast cancer.
The study concluded that if mothers in the developed world breastfeed each child just six months longer than they do
now, this could prevent 25,000 breast cancers worldwide each year. Extending breastfeeding by an additional twelve
months could prevent 50,000 breast cancers.
Posters of Lucy Lawless breastfeeding her new baby have been developed for the week and distributed to health
professionals throughout the country.
Breastfeeding helps mothers because it:
- Significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer.
- Provides a small reduction in the risk of the most common ovarian cancer.
- Provides a 98% contraceptive benefit after childbirth for 6 months, provided the mother is exclusively or fully
breastfeeding, her periods have not returned and she is not experiencing any spotting or bleeding.
- Assists with faster recovery from childbirth. Women who breastfeed have less bleeding and are less likely to become
- Helps her return to pre-pregnancy weight more quickly.
For more information, please contact:
Bona Fide Communications
Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. “Breast Cancer and breastfeeding: collaborative reanalysis of
individual data from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50302 women with breast cancer and 96973
women without the disease.” The Lancet. Volume 360, Number 9328, 20 July 2002.