About the Study

Early age at first birth, increased parity and breastfeeding are recognized factors that substantially reduce long term risk of breast cancer.

However, there is some evidence that pregnancy and lactation can cause inflammation in the breast that can increase breast cancer risk for up to 10 years after giving birth. This is known as pregnancy-related breast cancer. It is possible in certain susceptible individuals that this inflammation may increase breast cancer long term.

What if we could do something to reduce inflammation in the breast?

In our study we want to learn if eating lots of fruit and vegetables may lower inflammation in breast tissue.

Based on other studies, we think that we can use breastmilk to look for signs of breast inflammation. We also think breast milk may give us a better idea about breast health than taking a blood sample.

Also, we want to learn how eating more fruits and vegetables can affect the health of breastfed babies, including possible changes to our babies’ gut bacteria, aka their microbiome.

Our study is a randomized control trial. A randomized control trial is one of the strongest study designs because they are the best at ruling out “other causes” in the results. Other variables, like age, do not matter as much in randomized control trials because people are randomly assigned to receive the “treatment” (in our study, the treatment is eating a high amount of fruits and vegetables) or to not receive the treatment (we call this the “control”). Having people in both the “treatment” and “control” groups of the study means we can be confident that any relationship we might see between diet and breast health or infant health is really due to diet and not a third factor like age.

In 2018 we published a smaller study, called a pilot study, to see if the study we are recruiting for now would be feasible. Check out the study, published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, by clicking the image below:

Contact us at (newmomswellness@umass.edu) for more information!