A new study published in the September 2010 issue of the American Journal of Medicine found that women who breastfed their infants for at least one month were less likely to develop type-2 diabetes later in life. The study’s findings help to make a stronger case for women to consider breast feeding, even for a short period of time.
Why Breastfeeding is Healthier for Mom
The study was conducted by Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, M.D., M.S. and fellow researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. The researchers studied 2,233 women who were between the ages of 40 and 78. Of this group, 56 percent reported that they had breastfed their child for at least one month. Women who reported that they did not breastfeed their babies were twice more likely to develop type-2 diabetes than their breastfeeding counterparts or than women who never had a baby. Even with all factors considered, race, age, alcohol and tobacco use and physical activity, the breastfeeding mothers were still less likely to develop the disease later in life. According to Schwarz, breastfeeding mothers decrease maternal belly fat and this is why they are less likely to develop type-2 diabetes.
Health Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom
Medical professionals have long touted the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. Besides lowering the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, other breastfeeding benefits to the mother include:
- Lose weight faster and easier while breastfeeding.
- Uterus returns to shape faster while breastfeeding.
- Lowers risk of breast cancer.
- Lowers risk of ovarian cancer.
- Less likely to develop postpartum depression.
Breastfeeding is not an option for every mother and women need to make the right decision that fits their life. However, Schwarz believes that doctors should give women all the information available so they can make an educated decision on whether or not to breastfeed.
Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “Why Breastfeeding is Important”
ScienceDaily.com “Moms Who Don’t Breastfeed More Likely to Develop Type-2 Diabetes, Study Finds”