A recent research review found that mothers who breastfeed for over a year are significantly less likely to develop diabetes and high blood pressure then women who breastfeed for a shorter time.
- The study, which was published in JAMA Network Open, included data from 9 previous research studies including over 450,000 women.
- Mothers who breastfed for over 12 months were 30% less likely to develop diabetes and 13% less likely to develop high blood pressure than mothers who breastfed for a shorter time.
- Benefits to breastfeeding included “reversing” the effects that pregnancy can have on metabolism, such as high cholesterol, high levels of fat in the blood, and lowered ability to process sugar. Breastfeeding also burns calories and can help prevent excessive post-pregnancy weight gain, a risk factor for heart and metabolic disease.
- Breastfeeding seemed to have a protective effect against diabetes and high blood pressure even when risk factors like obesity, smoking, and family medical history were taken into account.
Bottom line: If you choose to breastfeed, it’s a good idea to breastfeed as long as possible. It’s good for your heart!
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