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Breastfeeding Reduces a Mother's Risk of Developing Diabetes

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

As of last week, I am now 15% less likely to develop type II diabetes than I was at this time last year.

Why?

Because on November 11th, I'd logged my 365th day of breastfeeding.

According to a new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, mothers that breastfeed their children for at least a year have about a 15% less chance of developing type II diabetes in their lives. The risk dropped by another 15% for every additional year of breastfeeding logged by mothers.

The interesting thing here is that mothers that had breastfed two children for six months each did not have the same reduced risk as mothers that breastfed one child for a full year. It's also worth noting that there was no reduced risk for breastfeeding mothers that had had gestational diabetes...

Researches have suggested that the reduced risk may come from the metabolic changes that happens when women burn the extra calories from breastfeeding. The 500-800 calories a day that are burned by breastfeeding duplicate a serious daily workout. That long-term "workout" changes the way that a body processes insulin and creates a lasting health benefit.

There's obviously the chance here that mothers that breastfeed for longer stretches tend to be more health concious than mothers that formula feed, but the study did take into account things like drinking, smoking and exercise and found that the results didn't change.

Another great reason to be proud that you're breastfeeding.

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  1. Anonymous Mama C-ta | 6:24 PM |  

    Very interesting, not that I needed another reason to keep BF!

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