Throughout history, countless myths have been created around breastfeeding, both at a family and cultural level, resulting not only in insecurity, but also in distrust of mothers. The breastfeeding causes osteoporosis, breastfeeding causes cavities, with breastfeeding you cannot do sports ... All this has generated such an impact that many women question breastfeeding, even leading many of them to end up feeding with any milk, except with which they do have the best of benefits, their own milk.
The bones do not escape these myths, and it is that many people believe that breastfeeding can affect the bones and increase the probability of suffering from osteoporosis in adulthood in women. What's true in this affirmation?
Osteoporosis is a condition of the bonesIt is in which pores form inside, causing them to become weak and easily fracture (break). It is a disease that occurs mostly in women after menopause.
Bone is made up of calcium and other mineral deposits and as the years go by, the mass of the bone decreases. There are critical periods in a woman's life where calcium intake must be increased to compensate for the demand, for example, during pregnancy and lactation it is necessary to supplement with 1000mg calcium / day and also consume vitamin D (which regulates calcium metabolism ) in addition to eating a diet that includes dairy products and foods rich in calcium.
During pregnancy, calcium levels are more in demand to make the fetal skeleton, but since the body is very wise and we are made to such perfection, that demand for calcium does not affect bone mass, and this is due to the increase in the intestinal absorption in the maternal organism, to the regulation of calcium at the level of the kidneys and, on the other hand, to the levels of circulating hormones (estrogens) that causes the bone mass to be compensated in this period.
During lactation, about 400 mg / day of calcium is lost through the milk. It is true that during it there are changes in the bone, but these changes do not affect its health in the long term, therefore breastfeeding has nothing to do with the possibility of suffering from osteoporosis.
Also, during the lactation period, prolactin (which is the hormone responsible for producing milk) increases. With the increase of this hormone, the decrease of others, such as estrogen, is carried out simultaneously, which causes the loss of bone mass (bone mass) by approximately 2 to 3%, but this is quickly recovered month by month, with a full recovery in a period of 4 to 6 months without these changes affecting the bone in older ages.
It is important to emphasize that many women think that by having many children and breastfeeding them, they have a greater risk of suffering from osteoporosis when they reach menopause, a fact that has been denied and corroborated in different studies. The bone mass is the same in women who have had few children as in those who have had several, also in those who breastfed and those who did not breastfeed.
The relationship between breastfeeding and osteoporosis is a topic that has been widely discussed by different medical societies specialized in breastfeeding, and through different studies it has been concluded that breastfeeding does not increase the probability of suffering from osteoporosis, nor does it increase the probability of risk hip fracture, on the contrary, breastfeeding has a protective effect against osteoporosis.
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