Wow! The benefits of breast-feeding go way beyond that for just your bub! –
Scientists have long understood that a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes is among the many health benefits of breast-feeding — and that the energy required to produce milk plays a role. A new study, published in April 2020 in Science Translational Medicine, further illuminates this relationship, suggesting that breast-feeding triggers lasting metabolic changes that may help protect against type 2 diabetes long after women stop nursing their babies.
The study followed 85 women who breast-fed their babies and 99 women who didn’t. The groups were similar in many ways that could impact their risk for developing type 2 diabetes: number of prior pregnancies, age, pre-pregnancy weight, blood sugar levels and glucose tolerance during pregnancy, and exercise habits.
After 3.6 YearsTwo months after delivery, both groups of women still had similar glucose tolerance, a measure of how easily the body converts sugars from food into energy.
After an average follow-up period of 3.6 years, however, the groups looked much different. Compared with women who didn’t breast-feed at all, mothers who nursed their babies had better glucose tolerance and higher insulin sensitivity, which helps the body use glucose more effectively and reduces blood sugar levels.