According to new research, giving birth and breastfeeding may help women’s long term health. The study, which was published in BMC Medicine, found the risk of cancer death was lower in women who had given birth versus those who had not, and was lower among those who had had multiple children compared to one. Women who used birth control pills were less likely to die of cancer than those who did not.
Researchers collected and analyzed data from 323,000 women in 10 European countries over the course of 13 years. During that time, more than 14,300 of the women died.
Though the study found fewer deaths among women who gave birth and women who breastfed, more research is needed to determine how the reproductive factors impact life span.