Breastfeeding cuts mothers' risk of developing diabetes type 2 in half
There is no getting away from the fact that breastfeeding has so many benefits for babies.
It is nutritional gold, it decreases the risk of SIDS, boosts their immune system and fosters a strong bond between mama and baby.
But did you know breastfeeding is actually all sorts of amazing for mums too?
According to a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine this week, breastfeeding for at least six months slashes a woman’s risk for developing Type 2 diabetes nearly in half.
How's that for investment returns?
For the study researchers followed 1,238 women with an average starting age of 24 for approximately 30 years each. In the duration, each woman had at least one baby and 182 women developed Type 2 diabetes.
And here is where it gets interesting: Even when all other risk factors were controlled, the mothers who breastfed for six or more months for any baby were 48% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
And even if the mums breastfed for less than the recommended six months, it turns out that any amount of breastfeeding less than six months was still tied to a 25% reduced risk.
From previous studies we know that breastfeeding has a protective effect, and can help guard women from developing breast- and ovarian cancers. As to why it also protects against type 2 diabetes, researchers speculate it could be because lactating women have lower levels of circulating glucose and insulin secretion, something that can positively influence the ability of the pancreas to control blood sugar.