A study has found that breast-feeding may help women who have gestational diabetes from becoming lifelong diabetics.
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, monitored women who had developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy for two years after birth. Their study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday, found that their risk of developing Type-2 diabetes was cut by half the longer they breast-fed, reports the New York Times.
“Pregnancy is a metabolic challenge,” Erica P. Gunderson, the study’s lead author, told the New York Times. Glucose levels are lower during lactation and there is less demand for insulin. “One of the possible biologic explanations is that this gives the woman’s pancreatic beta cells a bit of a break, allowing for recovery from the demands of pregnancy.”
The results come at the heels of findings published late last month, which found that breast-feeding may help protect women from hormone receptor negative tumors— an incredibly aggressive type of breast cancer.