Research: More Breastfeeding, Less Diabetes

A new study shows that the longer a woman breastfeeds, the lower her risk of developing diabetes. In other words, the more time spent breastfeeding, the smaller the risk. We call this a dose dependent response, and there are many risks associated with lower doses of breastfeeding. For example, lower IQ, maternal cancers, and asthma. But there is a caveat: babies are not meant to exclusively breastfeed (that is, breastfeeding only without the addition of complementary foods) indefinitely. Delaying the introduction of solid foods past six months can actually increase the risk of developing some problems like food allergies and iron deficiency anemia.

The bottom line? Keep breastfeeding as long as it is working for both of you, but after six months of age introducing complementary foods is important.

As for me, I’ve logged enough months of breastfeeding that I should theoretically have no risk for anything…too bad it doesn’t work quite like that. 😉