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Even One Month of Breastfeeding Benefits New Mothers

We’ve heard time and time again that “breast is best” for baby, but it turns out, breast is best for mommy, too.  You probably know that breastfeeding will help you lose weight after giving birth, but are you aware of the additional health benefits shedding that baby belly provides?

According to The LA Times, “Breastfeeding helps women lose the worst kind of body fat — visceral fat — which they accrue during pregnancy.”  Visceral or intra-abdominal fat is known to cause heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension.  Losing even some of that fat after a month of breastfeeding has been proven to reduce a woman’s lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

A study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Medicine shows that “mothers who never breastfed were 50 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mark McLean, a professor of medicine at University of Western Sydney, notes that breastfeeding is “particularly important for women with gestational diabetes, an increasingly common temporary condition in pregnancy which can lead to permanent diabetes.”

Head researcher, Dr. Eleanor Bimla Schwarz of the University of Pittsburgh, says, “Our study found that moms who hadn’t breast-fed had significantly larger waist circumferences.”  Past studies have proven that a bigger waist brings with it a higher risk of diabetes.

Photo: mahalie via Flickr

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