Scientists have described how breastfeeding protects women’s health

© Depositphotos / AntonLozovoyМама with the childScientists have described how breastfeeding protects women’s health© Depositphotos / AntonLozovoy

. Doctors have found that breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life significantly reduces the risk of diabetes and many other diseases from their mothers, according to a paper published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

«We have long known that breast-feeding good for the baby and for the mother, but sooner advantages for women were limited to only a small reduction in how often they suffer from chronic diseases. In fact, the benefits of this much more significant – for example, women who fed babies for several months, reduces the risk of developing diabetes in the elderly years of life by about 50%,» says Tracy Flanagan (Tracy Flanagan) from Kaiser Permanente hospital in Oakland house (USA).

Until the early 20th century, almost all the children were fed in the first six months of life breast milk of the mother. The situation changed in the middle of the last century, when the first dry mixture and milk substitutes, and now 40% of children receive such a «diet», and in the USA, Europe and Russia, the proportion is from 1 to 10%.

On the other hand, recent studies show that breast milk and the act of feeding has many benefits – it improves the immune system and normalizes intestinal microflora of infants boosts their IQ in the future and makes them more fit for life. Current who estimates, about 800 thousand infant deaths could be avoided if women were self-fed their children in the first six months after their birth.

Flanagan and her colleagues tried to find out what are the pros and cons associated with breastfeeding for women themselves. To do this, they watched the health of about 1.2 thousands of young mothers over the past 30 years who visited the hospital and agreed to participate in the experiment.

As it turned out, breast-feeding most strongly influenced the likelihood of diabetes – she was reduced by 25% in women whose children were drinking the mother’s milk at least a month, and 48% of those mothers who fed the babies with her milk for six months.

A similar pattern, according to doctors, were common to rich and poor families, and for representatives of various ethnic and racial groups. Why is this happening, it is not clear, however, the apparent positive effect of breast-feeding, as scientists hope, will make the women themselves, and health authorities to get serious about the nutrition of children in the first days and months of their lives.