Breastfeeding mothers face a smaller risk of heart problems and strokes later in life, research suggests.
The benefits of breast milk for babies have long been established, with it known to prime their immune system and lower their risk of disease.
But now researchers in Austria claim breastfeeding may also provide a significant health boost for new mothers.
Eight studies of 1.2million mothers found those who breastfed were 14 per cent less likely to get heart disease than women who never breastfed and stuck to formula.
The review also found they were 12 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke further down the line.
The team did not reveal the optimal length of time for women to breastfeed to be at reduced risk for heart disease and strokes, but the World Health Organization (WHO) advises women to exclusively breastfeed newborns for six months.
And they did not identify a mechanism thought to be behind the reduced risk among breastfeeding mothers, meaning other lifestyle factors could have played a role.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Emily Craig