One of the priniciple themes put forth in The Art of Breastfeeding is this: Breastfeeding is best for baby, mother, father, and society. Reasons are provided that "prove" and support my thesis statement. It was interesting to read the recent (4-22-09)St. Paul Pioneer Press article entitled: Moms who breast-feed see benefit, study finds."
Breastfeeding studies prove over and over that breastfeeding is best for baby - but not just babies. The mothers benefit as well as shown by a new large study showing that women who breastfeed have decreased risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease decades after discontinuing breastfeeding.
As with other studies, the length of time a woman breastfeeds is important - the longer she breastfeeds the greater the benefits.
Naysayers suggest that the breastfeeding benefits may not be directly related to breastfeeding; rather, they suggest that women (who breastfeed) may lead more healthful lives- they take better care of themselves. If it is true that breastfeeding mothers take better care of themselves, good for them! Perhaps they intuitively understand that what and how they eat affects the quality of their breastmilk - therefore, they eat better because it is best for baby!
Either way, breastfeeding benefits mom and baby. But guess what, it also benefits dad and the whole of society as well. Breastfeeding is really the gold standard for feeding - everyone is better off practicing exclusive and continued breastfeeding.