How Breastfeeding Could Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

risk of type 2 diabetes

Recent studies have shown that women who breastfeed over the course of six months or more are actually less prone to developing type 2 diabetes. How does breastfeeding really lower the risk of type 2 diabetes?

Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding

Mothers who nurse their babies and enjoy doing so have another great reason to continue as long as possible. Besides losing excess pregnancy weight, there are many other health benefits of breastfeeding for both the baby and the mother. The risk of type 2 diabetes is 47% reduced when breastfeeding for six months or more.

The Study

A heart study which started in 1985 under the name of Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults examined 1,238 black and white women and lasted for 30 years. Regular screenings before and after their pregnancy provided the most accurate readings. A senior research scientist, Erica Gunderson, said that they’d found a strong association between the risk of developing diabetes and the breastfeeding duration.

Director of women’s health for Kaiser Permanent Northern California, Dr. Tracy Flanagan, also reported that the new study has shown that mothers who breastfeed for months after their delivery may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 50%.

What If You Can’t Breastfeed?

Researchers claim that even women who are not able to breastfeed shouldn’t worry. There are still many other ways you can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. You can start by increasing physical activity throughout the day and making some simple lifestyle changes to lose weight.


Breastfeeding does indeed reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It took 30 years for scientists to complete their study, but it was well worth the wait.

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