Sydney Morning Herald August 31, 2010
Women who do not breastfeed their babies are at greater risk of diabetes, research shows. Mothers who never breastfed were 50 per cent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did. And they had almost twice the risk of women who had never given birth, according to the study of more than 2230 US women. Breastfeeding may lower diabetes risk by helping women lose their ”baby belly”, the fat that accumulates around their abdomen during pregnancy. As little as one month spent exclusively feeding with breast milk seemed to decrease the diabetes risk, although the average was six months of at least partial breastfeeding, the study authors wrote in the American Journal of Medicine. The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends babies be breastfed exclusively until six months but the most recent Australian survey found only 14 per cent were.