Is breastfeeding good for a mum’s heart? A 2022 study says it is!

Toni Harman
5 min readNov 3, 2022

Quick Summary: A 2022 review of 8 studies involving 1,192,700 women found breastfeeding is good for a mum’s heart. The study found mothers who breastfed at some time in their lives were less likely to develop heart disease or stroke, compared to those who did not breastfeed.

Parenting tips: Research shows breastfeeding reduces risk of cardiovascular disease for the mother
Is breastfeeding good for a mum’s heart? A 2022 study says it is!

If you have breastfed at some point in your life, you might already know this…

Breastfeeding lowers the mum’s risk of Type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

But could breastfeeding also lower a mum’s risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or even the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease?

A 2022 study set out to systematically review the published literature on the association between breastfeeding and risk of a mother developing cardiovascular disease.

The review included eight studies which took place between 1986 and 2009 in Australia, China, Norway, Japan and the U.S. and also, one multinational study.

1 192 700 women who had given birth were included in the review.

82% reported they had breastfed at some time in their life.

To cut to the chase, the key findings:

  • If women had breastfed at some point in their lives, they had…
  • 11% decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
  • 14% less likely to develop coronary heart disease
  • 12% less likely to suffer strokes
  • 17% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease

The study by Tschiderer L. et al., was published in the Journal of American Heart Association (JAHA) in 2022.

More details about the study are below.

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The Study and The Numbers:

  • 1 192 700 parous women were included (“parous” means women who had given birth).
  • 51.3 years old = average age of people included in the studies
  • 24.6 years old = average age of first birth



Toni Harman

I help parents and health professionals better understand the science of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and the microbiome.