A new study finds breastfeeding can lower the mother's risk of developing metabolic syndrome in the long run.
According to the study published in Diabetes, breastfeeding reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome — a cluster of risk factors such as elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance, and abdominal obesity linked to diabetes and heart disease — in the new mother.
Women who breastfeed tend to adopt a healthier lifestyle than new mothers who do not breastfeed and therefore lose the weight gained during pregnancy faster.
Breastfeeding for longer than nine months lowers the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 56 percent. Each year of breastfeeding is associated with a 15 percent reduction in diabetes risk within the next 15 years.
As for women who have developed gestational diabetes during one or more pregnancies, lactation is believed to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome by 86 percent.
Scientists concluded that nursing for as little as a month or two is effective, adding that the longer a woman breastfeeds the higher the protection level will become.