The benefits of breast-feeding are well documented. Breast milk is the healthiest and safest food for babies and it’s easy to digest. Breastfeeding and breast milk contribute to every part of baby’s development including physical, emotional, and perhaps even intellectual. Babies who are breast-fed have fewer infections such as colds, ear infections and diarrhea. Breast milk can even help prevent childhood obesity, cancer, and diabetes.
Most mothers who have breastfed will tell you the benefits they receive are significant as well. Breastfeeding helps establish an emotional bond unlike anything else a mother does to nurture her child. But there’s more.Breastfeeding is good for a mother’s health, too.
A new study reveals that breastfeeding is also good for mother’s health as well. According to research, breastfeeding for even one month will lower a woman’s risk of developing type-2 diabetes in her lifetime.
The study examined data from 2,233 women. The women were aged 40 to 78 and provided information regarding births, breast-feeding information such as how long they breast-fed, as well as a history of type-2 diabetes.
The results of the study established a strong link between breastfeeding and a reduced risk of developing diabetes. 27% of the mothers in this study who did not breastfeed developed type-2 diabetes. The risk was two times that of women who had breastfed or who had never given birth.
Within the group of women who breastfed their infants for one to six months, 19% developed type-2 diabetes. Only 16% who breastfed for six months and more developed the disease.
Just one month of breastfeeding can reduce mother’s diabetes risk.
Previous studies have implied that in order to realize optimum health benefits from nursing, women need to breastfeed for six months. But this new study shows that just one month of breastfeeding delivers significant health benefits.
Type-2 diabetes has peaked in the recent years because of the rising rates of obesity. It’s true breastfeeding helps with weight loss but that’s probably not the only reason for seeing lower diabetes rates among breastfeeding women. It speeds up the loss of the most dangerous type of body fat–visceral fat–which they put on during pregnancy.
In addition, lactation may also improve insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. All of these factors combined could explain the lower diabetes risk among breast-feeding mothers.
In light of the new research, breastfeeding exclusively for six months is a worthy goal. However, if work restraints make it hard to continue for that long, even one month will have significant health benefits for the mother . . . and baby will benefit as well.