Researchers are discovering that breastfeeding is more protective of maternal health than previously imagined and that it dramatically lowers women's risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes during middle and old age--common causes of premature mortality. Previously, the health benefits of breastfeeding were mainly focused on the infant. New data suggests that breastfeeding may have life-long effects for both mother and baby. Psychoneuroimmunology is an emerging, interdisciplinary science that considers the ways in which the human mind and the immune system interact and influence each other. Over the past 40 years, a body of evidence clearly shows that stress and coping may produce changes in immunity. These changes can result in health effects that contribute to disease. In this book, authors Maureen Groer, RN, PhD, FAAN, and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA cover: -Why breastfeeding protects maternal health -Basic concepts of breast differentiation, lactogenesis, and lactation -Basic overview of the human stress response -Introduction to psychoneuroimmunology and the immunology of pregnancy and postpartum -Lactational stress resistance -Breastfeeding, mental health, and the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome -Breastfeeding and immunity -Implications of an anti-inflammatory response to enhancing the health effects of breastfeeding throughout women's lives This monograph provides the latest evidence on how breastfeeding and human milk are the biological norms for mother and baby, and how artificial feeding puts both at risk for health problems throughout their lives. It presents information on the science of psychoneuroimmunology and applies it to the maternal-infant breastfeeding dyad, presenting the latest evidence that will inform practice and, hopefully, policy.
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