- On May 24, 2018
Breastfeeding and breastmilk have long been touted for the health benefits for both moms and babies include lowering the risks of asthma, allergies, ear infections, ovarian and breast cancer, and just to name a few. Recent research has established that breastfeeding can also decrease the risk of maternal type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Results from a thirty year study showed breastfeeding for 6 months or more can lower a mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 47% compared to mothers who do not breastfeed at all. Women that breastfed for 6 months or less lowered their risks by 25%.
The study included 1,238 women ages 18 to 30 years old . The study showed that the risk of diabetes declined as the breastfeeding duration increased regardless of the multiple factors of race, body size, lifestyle behaviors, and other influences prior to pregnancy. Possible explanation of the benefits includes, “the influence of lactation-associated hormones on the pancreatic cells that control blood insulin levels and thereby impact blood sugar levels.” (Gunderson, et al. 2018).
Research continues to provide evidence of the many healthy benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the optimal health feeding choice for moms and babies, but often times mothers get discouraged or experience barriers. Support and education is extremely important to uplift our breastfeeding moms to help them reach their goals. For any moms that are experiencing any hesitation, discomfort, or just simply need encouragement, please feel free to locate a lactation consultant to receive the counseling and support you need.
Kirsten E. Kearse
Life University, MS Nutrition ’16
Erica P. Gunderson, Cora E. Lewis, Ying Lin, Mike Sorel, Myron Gross, Stephen Sidney, David R. Jacobs, James M. Shikany, Charles P. Quesenberry. Lactation Duration and Progression to Diabetes in Women Across the Childbearing Years. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2018; DOI: 1001/jamainternmed.2017.7978