Breastfeeding Can Prevent Diabetes
Breast milk is the only “food” best for your baby during the early growth. Unfortunately, many mothers worry that breastfeeding alone is not sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the baby. In fact, many experts have long agreed that breast milk has a many positive benefits, particularly for the health of the baby.
Not only for the baby, even the mother who breastfeeds their children also benefits from doing it. Recent research shows, mothers who breastfeeds for a month or more will reduce the risk of diabetes later in life.
According to researcher Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, United States, the relationship between breastfeeding and diabetes risk has been addressed in previous research. However, recent studies have reinforced this. “Mothers who breastfeed have a much lower risk for diabetes,” said Schwarz, according to to WebMD.
“While the mother who never breastfeeds their children has nearly doubled the risk of getting diabetes,” he said.
The study was published in The American Journal of Medicine. This research itself was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and National Institute of Child Health and Development.
Schwarz and his colleagues studied data collected in other studies concerning risk factors urinary incontinence (bedwetting), evaluate the information about the study of breastfeeding practices, and how will women suffer from diabetes. This study followed participants aged 40 to 78 years old and a member of the largest health care organization in California.
The researchers evaluated data from approximately 2,233 women. Of those, 405 people have became mothers, 1,125 were mothers who breastfeed at least a month, and the remaining 703 were mothers who never breastfeed their children. The result showed that the risk of getting type 2 diabetes diagnosis for women who breastfeed their children for a month or more, similar to women who have not given birth.
However, mothers who never breast-feed her child was almost two times more likely to get diabetes than women who had never given birth. Meanwhile, mothers who never gave exclusive breast milk, about 1.4 times more likely to suffer from diabetes than women who breastfeed exclusively for one to three months.
So, the greatest risk of developing diabetes from the conclusions drawn from the results of this study is 17.5 percent of women who never gave birth, 17 percent of women who breastfeed their children for a month or more, 20.3 percent of women who breastfeed for one month or more, but not for all their children and the highest is 26.7 percent of mothers who do not breastfeed.
Overweight and obesity are the most common diseases suffered by the participants, 68 percent of them had a body mass index of 25 or more, which is considered to exceed the limit of the ideal body weight. The relationship between breastfeeding and diabetes, says Schwarz, is known after controlling other factors such as weight, physical activity, and family history of diabetes.
He said that even breastfeeding for one month seems to make a big difference for the mother. And if they do it longer is better. “Previous research has shown, the longer you breastfeed, the benefits for your body will add,” says Schwarz. Many experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for six months.
“Obviously it is difficult for mothers to keep breastfeeding within their work environment,” says Schwarz. Schwarz said, the relationship between breastfeeding and diabetes may be caused by fat in the abdomen. Mothers who do not breastfeed, because of of age, have more abdominal fat. With breastfeeding, it is suspected to help mothers lose weight.
“Fat in the stomach increases the risk of diabetes as you get older,” said Schwarz. Several previous studies have shown that breastfeeding can increase sensitivity to insulin, which in turn reduces the risk of diabetes. But it may be short-term events, while breastfeeding happens. “The real problem may be caused by fat in the abdomen,” says Schwarz.
Kimberly D Gregory, MD, MPH, Deputy Head of Health Center for Women and Performance Improvement at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, United States, said that the latest findings about breastfeeding can reduce the risk of diabetes is not surprising at all.
She often advises women who suffer from gestational diabetes (occurring during pregnancy) that they are in danger to then get type 2 diabetes and advised them to breastfeed. According to Gregory, the results of this study might inspire her to add information to women about more benefits of breastfeeding.
Gregory, who is also a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, Los Angeles, United States, claims that shw will be more focused in providing knowledge of the benefits of breast milk to babies in the future.
“I think it would make me say to women that breastfeeding will help you lose weight faster and may reduce chances of becoming diabetes later in life,” said Gregory.