Sunday, October 14, 2007

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Why is my blog back-ground pink? To honor, support and remind everyone of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I remember sitting in a hospital room when I was about six-years-old. My grandmother was sitting in a chair, in her hospital room. She had recently had a breast removed due to breast cancer. My sister Sarah, younger and bolder, asked to see "it." My grandmother opened up her gown and showed us the bare left side of her chest. Over twenty years later, that image remains fresh in my mind. More recently, the mother of a dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer - making breast cancer even more personal.

How can you help prevent breast cancer? Well, there are several ways to reduce your risk. Follow the link and read's recommendations.

Many people may wonder why breastfeeding is something that is very dear to my heart. While many women will have no family history of breast cancer and still develop breast cancer, I happen to know that I have a heightened risk of breast cancer (as you learned above). Not only does it run in my family, starting a family over the age of 25, as I did, also increases a woman's risk. Research shows that breastfeeding your child reduces your risk of breast cancer by up to 25%. Breastfeeding also reduces a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding is something I can easily do to decrease my risk, therefore, reducing my risk of a life-threatening cancer is one reason breastfeeding is so close to my heart. Follow the link to read more about reducing your risk by breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding isn't just beneficial to the mother. It helps reduce a child's risk of SIDS, RSV, childhood cancer, ear infections, allergies, stomach flu, asthma, eczema, child and adult obesity - to name just a few. Not even the very best, most expensive formula can prevent or reduce the severity of any of the above mentioned.

Breastfeeding isn't something I really discuss with Olivia. After all, she's two. However, by watching me nurse Lila, she's learned to nurse her "babies." The above is a picture dear to my heart!

If you didn't or couldn't breastfeed your child, don't beat yourself up about it. Gently (in the past, I've offended some people with my over-eagar, preachy advice on breastfeeding -and though I never meant any harm, I'm working on changing my approach), spread the word of it's benefits to baby and of it's breast cancer risk reduction in mom!

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