Breastfeeding May Decrease Diabetes Risk for Mother, Study Shows

Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

A new study compares type 2 diabetes risks and breastfeeding in women. Mothers who did breastfeed their children appear much less likely to have diabetes than mothers who did not breastfeed. Also, women who do not have children (from giving birth) notice similar risks to those who breastfed their children.

Researchers explain the risk of developing diabetes in women who did not breastfeed to be nearly twice as high as those women who have never given birth.

While experts understand diet and exercise influence risks of developing type 2 diabetes, fewer realize how breastfeeding can decrease risks of developing diabetes later in life due to a decrease in stomach fat after child bearing.

For this study, 2,233 women between the ages of 40 and 78 years old were questioned.

About 56 percent explained to have breastfed for at least one month.

This study realized:

  • 27 percent of women who did not breastfeed but did have children had now developed type 2 diabetes
  • Women who did not breastfeed but did have children were nearly 200 percent as likely to have diabetes when compared with women who did not ever give birth
  • Women who breastfed all of their children noticed similar risks of diabetes as those who did not ever give birth

Experts explain this study as being a great tool to encourage breastfeeding for at least the first month of a child’s life.