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Breastfeeding pays off for moms post-menopause

Mothers who breastfeed for at least a year at least once in their lives may get as many health benefits as their babies do. Some of these benefits show up much later, after a woman has gone through menopause, according to a new study reported by the New York Times.

The study by Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, found that women who nursed had lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes post-menopause.

According to the article, Nieca Goldberg, director of the NYU Women's Heart Center, speculated that oxytocin could be the reason for this protective effect:

If there is such a mechanism, Dr. Goldberg suggested, it could lie in oxytocin, a hormone crucial to milk production. Oxytocin is known to relax blood vessels, she said, and may make them more flexible and more resistant to the buildup of plaque.

Oxytocin, the natural miracle drug.