Breastfeeding is widely acknowledged as being beneficial to babies in preventing disease. However, a recent study has shown that breastfeeding may also benefit the mother by helping to prevent adult onset diabetes. The reason for this is that breastfeeding uses up large amounts of energy in lactation (up to 500 calories per day), and this in turn helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.
The study of 157,000 women concluded that breastfeeding for a year could reduce the risk of a mother developing diabetes by an astounding 15% for 15 years. The study, published in the American Medical Association journal, was carried out by researchers at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston.
Dr. Alison Stuebe, leading the report, stated that; ‘We’ve known for a long time that breastfeeding is good for babies. In this study, we found it’s good for moms, too.’ Two separate rounds of long-term health tracking studies were carried out, dating as far back as the mid-1970s. Once every two years, surveys questioned the women extensively about their health. After careful consideration of diet, exercise, weight and vitamin use, the researchers deduced the effects of breastfeeding on diabetes development. Generally: the longer a woman breastfeeds for (bearing in mind the nutritional demands of breastfeeding), the less likely she is to develop diabetes.

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