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New researches conducted to see if there was a link between hormones and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) development found that mothers who breastfed their babies for longer periods of time were likely to have a reduced risk of developing this chronic disease.

In comparison to women who never breastfed, women who did so for 13 or more months were found to have a reduced risk of developing RA. The studies also showed that the longer the breast feeding period, the lower the mother's risk of developing the disease later in life.

The use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy was found not to have a significant effect on the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. These results suggest that only naturally-induced hormones may have protective role in RA development.

Positive impact of breastfeeding on children had been proven earlier but the new results show that breastfeeding has protective benefits for mothers too.

Breastfeeding was found to protect children from illnesses. Breast-fed infants were found to have lower rates of hospital admissions, ear infections, diarrhoea, rashes, allergies and other medical problems than bottle-fed babies.

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thats interesting Jannie as I was breastfeeding my daughter when I developed RA 18 months ago. There are many benefits of breastfeeding, the most obvious is the increased bond between mother and child but I am not sure that it is beneficial in avoiding RA if my own experience is anything to go by.
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