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Daughter Wants to Know if You Breast Fed Your Babies

Different Ballgame's picture
Different Ballgame
Posts: 868
Joined: Jan 2010

I am the one with breast cancer. My daughter has breast fed all her babies (so far 4). She would like to know if you breast fed your babies. Theory is that if you breast feed, you are safe from breast cancer. I did not breast feed my babies. Look forward to your answer.

2Floridiansisters's picture
Posts: 382
Joined: May 2010

I breast fed 2 out of 3 of them.

Jean 0609's picture
Jean 0609
Posts: 2462
Joined: Jun 2010

I breast fed both of my sons.

Grandma X 6
Posts: 135
Joined: Mar 2010

I also breast fed 2 out of 3 Children

fauxma's picture
Posts: 3581
Joined: Dec 2008

Didn't breast fed my daughter.

MomMichelle's picture
Posts: 93
Joined: Jun 2010

I breast fed both of my children for a year each. I always thought that was the theory too.

aisling8's picture
Posts: 1618
Joined: Feb 2010

Breast fed all three sons six months each.

fauxma's picture
Posts: 3581
Joined: Dec 2008

What I read is that breast feeding may reduce the risk of breast cancer in premenapausal women particularly those that had their children after the age of 25. My daughter breast fed her son for 2 years and her daughter for over 1 year and was 29 when she had her first baby so I hope that there is some truth in this. There are many risks for breast cancer and yet there are those that don't fall into any of them and still get breast cancer. I guess the best we can tell our children and ourselves is to eat a balanced diet, keep our weight in control, exercise regularly, reduce our stress, get regular check ups, be alert to any changes in our bodies, get enough sleep, don't put bad things in our bodies and to laugh daily (it is the best medicine). It won't guarantee being cancer free but it will put them in good shape and if they have any health issues they will be in the best shape to fight whatever it is. Having said all that, I am the poster child for not following many of these (weight, exercise, healthy eating being my main badness) but I am working on improving these. And I do encourage my spouse, my child, her spouse and the grandchildren to learn from my mistakes. They are all much better at all of the above than I and for that I am thankful. Sorry for the ramble. I do that alot.

Chickadee1955's picture
Posts: 336
Joined: Apr 2010

I breastfed both my daughters; one for over a year, one for 6 months or so. I had my first child at age 27, second at 30.

chenheart's picture
Posts: 5180
Joined: Apr 2003

This should be interesting...I never had children, so I can't answer the question, but I will find the answers fascinating. My mom did NOT breast feed any of us~ we were the first generation of baby-boomers~ I believe it was a sign of the new post WW11 affluence to be able to afford formula. Progress~ two steps forward, at least 3 back! LOL


Miss Murphy's picture
Miss Murphy
Posts: 302
Joined: Feb 2010

I breast fed both my daughters for about a year each. My mother did not breast feed me as I guess she could afford formula!!!!! I had my first child at 26, the second at 29. I sometimes wonder where they come up with this stuff. According to what "studies" say helps prevent breast cancer - I shouldn't have gotten it in the first place!!!!

Hugs, Sally

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2809
Joined: Jun 2010

I breastfed both of my children, but only for about 2 months. I was young (23 and 25) and naive.


Posts: 429
Joined: Dec 2009

Breastfed both of my boys for about 1 yr each. Had my first baby at 26 and my second at 28. My "babies" are now 29 and 27!!

Heatherbelle's picture
Posts: 1227
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi - I breastfed both of my daughters. I had my first at age 26, and 2nd at age 32. 1st in my family diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34, and my mom was diagnosed 2 months after me this summer.
I think I can safely say the breastfeeding, having babies after age 25, and family history is nothing to bet the farm on! I do hope, though, that your daughter never has to worry about breast cancer!!

faith_trust_and_a_little_bit_of_chemotherapy's picture
Posts: 319
Joined: Jun 2010

as did three other survivors with whom I am personally acquainted...

I'm still trying to wrap my head around a former colleague that was breastfeeding her second child when what she thought was a blocked duct was actually cancer.

Bella Luna's picture
Bella Luna
Posts: 1579
Joined: Aug 2009

Yes, I breast fed my daughter for close to a year. I was 35 years old and she is now 10 years old. I remember several doctors asked if I had breastfed. It would be interesting to hear the findings on breastfeeding and cancer.

linpsu's picture
Posts: 747
Joined: Mar 2010

No, I did not breastfeed either of my children. I tried for one week, but it just didn't work out.

Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

Yes, I breast fed my daughter for about 6 months and my son for a year. (He never would take a bottle.) Have had lumpectomies in both breasts followed by radiation. Now am Stage IV metastasized. According to my surgeon statistically this should not have happened.

SamuraiMom's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: Jul 2009

I breast fed both girls and had no family history...


Marcia527's picture
Posts: 2749
Joined: Jul 2006

No I didn't. I had the first at 22 years old and the second at 27 years old. I think a lot of other factors have to be considered also.

New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

My son for 10 months. Several friends who had breast cancer I have known (before I joined this board) did breast feeding. Unfortunately, it did not protect. Janelle your daughter have to be vigilant and have annual mamo.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I breastfed one daughter for 3 months, and one daughter for 8 months. I stopped breastfeeding after 8 months because I got diagnosed with breast cancer after feeling a lump while pumping. I had to wean her over a weekend to have furthur surgery. still makes me sad.

LadyParvati's picture
Posts: 328
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi, Janelle,

This is my area of research. While your daughter is correct that breastfeeding offers some protection against breast cancer (i.e., reduces the risk), fauxma has it correct that it primarily affects premenopausal breast cancers and is less protective in the postmenopausal years. In addition, many factors are involved in the development of breast cancer, and breastfeeding is only one of them. Being breastfed is another, and, as we all know, genetics is another. These are just a few of the primary factors involved.

I did breastfeed my three sons, for a total of 13 years. Obviously, breastfeeding did not make me "safe" from breast cancer.

I'm really glad to hear that your daughter has breastfed her babies, as breastfeeding has great value in many other ways besides protection against breast cancer. Artificial feeding is known to increase the risk of many childhood diseases, while breastfeeding confers protection against many childhood diseases; for several, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and others, breastfeeding of at least one year offers protection into adulthood. So breastfeeding is no minor gift to one's child. Give your daughter an extra big hug for taking such wonderful care of your grandchildren the next time you see her!

Hugs to you, too! Sandy

alexlib_mom's picture
Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2010

I breast fed both my kids for a year or more each and got breast cancer at age 41. Breastfeeding decreases the risk (supposedly), but it doesn't keep you safe from breast cancer.

mariam_11_09's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Nov 2009

I was not breastfed but did breastfed my daughter for 3 years. I had her when I was 33. Was diagnosed with cancer last year at the age of 43. I ate well, was vegetarian, watched my diet, exercised, took care of myself and still got breast cancer. I have a coworker the same age as me with no kids who is 350 lbs with all sorts of problems and no sign of cancer, so far.

I think there are a great number of factors involved and each person is so different, why one person gets it and another does not even though both maybe doing the same thing or not is a mystery.

sea60's picture
Posts: 2618
Joined: May 2010

I breast fed both my son and daughter.



meena1's picture
Posts: 1005
Joined: Oct 2008

Yes, I breast fed both my children. I am not overweight, i do not drink, (except an occasional margarita or corona before dx!) i ate a lot of vegies, i ate a lot of fruit. I cooked with olive oil and garlic, i have low body fat, I did not eat "fast foods", I walked daily, excersised when i could. Still got breast cancer.

Pinkpower's picture
Posts: 437
Joined: Jun 2010

My mom was not able to breast feed her 3 children,and at age 60 still no signs of breast cancer... but I did try. With my 1st 17yrs ago when I was 24 I tried for 3wks, and stoped whn I wnt back to work (Family leave act was not enforced yet)with my 2nd daughter I was 31 I breastfeed for 3months. Personally, I dont believe breast feeding has anything to do with Breast Cancer. Thats my opinion.


Pinkpower's picture
Posts: 437
Joined: Jun 2010

My mom was not able to breast feed her 3 children,and at age 61 still no signs of breast cancer... but I did try. With my 1st 17yrs ago when I was 24 I tried for 3wks, and stoped whn I wnt back to work (Family leave act was not enforced yet)with my 2nd daughter I was 31 I breastfeed for 3months. I was dx 10yrs later at 41 with stage 2 breast cancer. Personally, I dont believe breast feeding has anything to do with Breast Cancer. Thats my opinion.


VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9085
Joined: Aug 2009

personality - high stressed, and I flourish performing 6 different functions at 1 time - I am also - the FIRST women in my family -- 3 generations (Mom's sister had lymph node cancer - 20 years ago) to have this dreaded 'beast' breast cancer.

I did occassional have a drink, out at dinner - probably once a month. Most importantly,
I smoked as a teen and into my early 20's - never more than 1 pack of cig's per week = stoped smoking - cold turkey, until 3 to 4 years ago -- picked up the habit again .. SMOKED 1 pack a day ***** - due to stress until October 20, 2009 -- quit cold turkery .. oh .. how difficult it was to quit .. even tho I was going thru CHEMO, and my ONC told me I had enough to worry about, smoking was the least of my worries (see, I told you all he is a little off - mentally).

Ex-smoker .. Vicki Sam

Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2010

I breast fed both my daughters. I had my first at age 31.

MyTurnNow's picture
Posts: 2690
Joined: Aug 2009

I agree this will be interesting to read the results. I was 31 when I had my daughter and, yes, I did breast feed her. No history of breast cancer in my family either. Both my mother (deceased) and sister have had fibrocystic (sp) tumors. My mother most have had between 4-6 surgeries throughout her lifetime. So, I wish it were true that if you breast feed you have no cancer worries. But, it doesn't sound like that's got much truth to it!!

cahjah75's picture
Posts: 2631
Joined: Jun 2010

either of my children who I had at age 27 & 29. My mother did not breast feed any of the 4 of us girls. Her mother died of breast cancer. My mom and youngest sister have had benign tumors removed. All 4 of us have had fibrocystic breasts as do our daughters (each of us had 1 daughter). My youngest niece was just dx with a benign tumor. My daughter will go for her 1st mammo next year at age 35. That's the age I started. My daughter did not breast feed her 2 girls but my daughter-in-law has breast fed 3 for a year each and she is due Nov. 2 and I'm sure she'll be breast feeding. One sister did breast feed for 2 months and she is a postmenopausal bc survivor.


CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

Yep, I breast fed my daughter for 2 1/2 yrs because she was the hardest baby to wean ever. Finally weaned her to a bottle (I knw, I know). My 2 sisters that had cancer also both breast fed.

Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Didn't breast feed either of my two kids....my daughter has with all 3 of hers for 14 months each.......have a friend who just finished all her treatment.....she breast fed all 3 of hers..My daughter's friend, just finished all her treatment.....she's 41 her first at 19......breasts fed all three...it's a crap shoot, I think! Sad truth is, they have no clue what causes it...I am in a study at UNC CHAPEL HILL........one of the 200+ questions they asked......could I remember how much I weighed when I was 10 years old....no.....other than I was a string bean! We just do the best we can .......

mwallace1325's picture
Posts: 806
Joined: Apr 2009

and I did not breast feed.


Posts: 395
Joined: Jun 2010

I breast fed both my daughters. The second one for 2 years. I think if it were that easy baby formula companies would be much richer.

Posts: 598
Joined: Sep 2009

Had 3 kids all before age 30 and breast fed all till age 2 ish. No family hx and negative for BRCA gene. Go figure. The benifit is healthy children when growing up. No earaches, allergies,colds etc... I was told at the beginning by my onc, there is around 32 different types of breast cancer. Breast feeding may ward off one or two. Chances are still to high that we'll get cancer. I'm happy for happy healthy kids. My daughter had her first child at 30. Boy she has great milk. Juni weighs 18lbs and is almost 6 months old. What a little cherub. Glad ur daughter is breast feeding. We may not always benifit from it, but the little ones do.
I had dense breast tissue. That's a sign to watch for also. Hugs Katz

jamiegww's picture
Posts: 384
Joined: Dec 2009

I had two children by C-Section and didn't feel like breast feeding and after throwing up for nine months and not able to take vitamins I didn't feel like my milk would be good for them anyway. I was diagnosed at age 54.

Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

My son was 15 months old when I was diagnosed. I stopped nursing when he was 12 months. I noticed a couple of months after I stopped nursing that there was a lump on my left breast. Went to my gyne and she felt it too and thought I should get it checked out. I was 6 months shy of turning 35 and that's when you do a baseline mammogram anyway. We both didn't expect it to be cancer. She thought it may just be a clogged duct. Well, it wasn't. It was cancer.

I have never heard the theory that nursing can stop one from getting bc cancer. I have heard and my oncologist has told me that research does support that women that have children after 30 have a slight increase risk in developing bc. Something about the homorne surges that happens while pregnant. I've also been told that if you've been diagnosed with bc and go on to have additional children, there is no higher risk in recurrance. I did have another child 4 years after my diagnoses. Haven't had any additional problems. I'll be celebrating 9 years on Sept. 14!:)

So...hope that helps?!


lynn1950's picture
Posts: 2574
Joined: Jun 2008

Had my first baby when I was 39, my second when I was 43 and third when I was 45! I breastfed all three - 8-9 years in all. My mom believed in formula. My breast cancer was discovered when I was 57 - not twelve months after my mom and youngest sister were diagnosed. None of us carries the BRCA.

I am a great believer in breastfeeding (obviously). I don't believe that a formula exists that can replicate or be better than mother's milk. It is the lovely, lazy way to feed your baby. xoxoxox Lynn

Different Ballgame's picture
Different Ballgame
Posts: 868
Joined: Jan 2010

I was surprised to read how many of you breast fed. I was hoping that the answers would have been different. I am beginning to wonder if breast cancer is caused by a virus. It does not make sense as to why one person gets breast cancer and another does not!

I am going to copy and paste all your responses so that my daughter can read them.

Lots of Hugs,

EveningStar2's picture
Posts: 494
Joined: Jan 2009

I breast fed all three for 5-9 months each. I was breastfed and I strongly suspect my mother was also. She was dxed around age 54, I was 55. Both had first babies at 23 and I am negative for BRAC 1&2.


CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

There are many types of breast cancer: ER+ or negative; PR + or neg; Her2 + or neg; triple negative; inflammatory; Paget's, etc. Some of us have a family history but most do not. As my breast surgeon often says the biggest risk factors are 1) being female and 2) having breasts. I wish there was an easy answer.

Posts: 992
Joined: Sep 2009

I breast fed both of my sons for a year each.


Marsha Mulvey
Posts: 597
Joined: May 2010

What we know for certain is that there are NO certainties about who gets breast cancer.

I breast fed both children, my son for 11 months, my daughter for only 6.

Some of us had our children early, some of us later. I was 34 and 37 years old when mine were born. We were married for 11 years without children. Maybe that's why we split when they got grown.lol (2 years ago)

I did smoke but never drank, was skinny as a rail (except while pregnant) until menopause. Passed through that uneventfully but did put on about 30 pounds.

Anyway, when you read all of these entries, there sure aren't any clues to the mystery!

My best to all. Marsha

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2010

yes, i breast fed two children for a total of 7 1/2 years. I have just been diagnosed with DCIS with a possible microinvasion.

Mama G
Posts: 763
Joined: Nov 2009

The first was for 2 years and the 3 were for 3 years each. So that's a total of 11 years of nursing. I ate lots of fresh fruit and veges, we grew many ourselves. My husband hunts and fishes so a lot of our "meats" were fresh also. I exercised regularly and never have been over 135 lbs. We live in a very healthy environment, never smoked and only drank a little wine once in a while. Go figure....

KayNYC's picture
Posts: 495
Joined: Mar 2010

Yes, I breast fed both of my children for a little under one year. They were born when I was 24 and 26 years old. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 60 yrs. My mother did not breast feed either my sister or I. She was diagnosed at age 50 yrs. Interestingly, my mother and I both developed breast cancer in the same breast and within 18 months of the loss of one of our parents (a stressor). I think there are many factors that contribute to getting breast cancer. I always thought that breast feeding was a good idea for many reasons and perhaps it does delay or deter breast cancer growth however there are so many environmental as well as, genetic factors that there is no clear cause and effect.
Hugs, K

Posts: 550
Joined: Nov 2009

I breastfed both of my daughters, one longer than the other though.

BlownAway60's picture
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