New research is showing breast-feeding can lower the risk of mother’s developing Type 2 diabetes. The new study published in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, shares information gathered over a 30-year period, based on 1,238 women.

At the beginning of the study, each women had delivered at least one baby, and also never had diabetes. Over the course of the project, these women were interviewed and examined seven times, taking into consideration their health and lifestyle choices. Of the 1,238 participants involved, there were 182 cases of diabetes, and researchers found that the longer a woman breastfed her baby, the lower her chances were of developing diabetes.

For example, for those women breast-feeding for up to six months, they reduced their risk by 25 percent. If women increased breast-feeding up to 12 months, they had close to 50% reduction in diabetes risk.

This data even applied to women who were either obese or who had gestational diabetes while pregnant. This speaks to the efficacy of breastfeeding in supporting a woman’s health as both of these conditions are important risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, even though women are generally encouraged to breastfeed for the sake of their child’s health, it’s also worth considering how breastfeeding can greatly impact the mother, too.

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