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Reduce Your Diabetes Risk By Breastfeeding

Over the years, I've shared with you how breastfeeding can be such a huge boon to the future health of mothers and the babies. The newest benefit: Moms can reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes if they breastfeed their babies for more than six months.

Researchers reviewed the medical records of some 157,000 female nurses who discussed, among many lifestyle questions, how many children they had and how long they were breastfed.

Although breastfeeding had no effect on patients with gestational diabetes, moms reduced their chances of type 2 diabetes by some 15 percent for every year they breastfed a single child. (No surprise, mothers who breastfed their babies longer had a lower body mass index too.)

The big concern: Slightly more than a third of babies were being breastfeeding at six months, according to a CDC study. And, only 17 percent were still getting breast milk by their first birthday.

If you need any more evidence breastfeeding is the best way to safeguard and boost your baby's health and your own, read my recent article about the seven benefits you need to know.

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 294, No. 20, November 23-30, 2005: 2601-2610

USA Today November 23, 2005

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