In 2018, Sophie Power, 36, took a break at mile 50 in the 105-mile-long Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc to breastfeed her 3-month-old son. They both enjoyed the break. And we know it was good for her son's health, who gains great benefits from being fed only breast milk for the first six months of life and enjoying solid foods and breast milk until at least a year old. But now a new study in JAMA Obstetrics and Gynecology reveals that Mom gets a boost in her well-being too, years (if not miles) down the road.
The researchers looked at data on over 200,000 women and found breastfeeding a baby for more than 12 months is associated with reducing mom's risk for diabetes later in life by 30% and for high blood pressure by 13% when compared with breastfeeding for less than 12 months.
The researchers say the benefits may come from a combination of factors: Breastfeeding burns up around 500 calories a day and it mobilizes fat stores, decreases the risk of obesity and increases good HDL cholesterol levels. In addition, the bonding hormone oxytocin plays a big role in breastfeeding and is known to reduce a woman's stress response and lower blood pressure.
Although it can be tough to juggle work, other kids and breastfeeding, the rewards are tangible for baby and Mom. So, if needed, seek help from your doctor and a lactation consultant (online is possible). Find one at https://tinyurl.com/yxn3ja6j.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.