To Your Health
January, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 01)
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Cut Your Diabetes Risk in Half

By Editorial Staff

Women, especially women who've just had a baby or are planning on having one soon, this one's for you: Research suggests breastfeeding for at least six months – the recommended time frame according to the American Academy of Pediatrics – benefits not just the child, but the mother as well, in the form of a dramatically reduced risk of developing diabetes.

Among 1,200-plus mothers followed for more than two decades, those who nursed their babies for at least six months were 48 percent less likely to develop diabetes than mothers who nursed their babies for a shorter duration. All of the women in the study were diabetes-free at enrollment time, and all had at least one child during the 25-year period.

diabetes - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a research journal of the American Medical Association, also found that women who nursed for less than six months were also less likely to develop diabetes than women who did not breastfeed their babies at all, while women who nursed for up to a year had a lower risk than woman who nursed for up to six months, and women who breastfed for more than 12 months had the lowest risk.

Talk to your doctor about the many benefits of breastfeeding, both for you and your baby, as part of an overall discussion about how to ensure a healthy pregnancy.