Everyone knows breastfeeding is good for babies, but moms apparently get major health benefits, too, reports Scientific American's Observations blog reports. A new analysis confirms that moms who breastfeed, even for just one month, are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Even after accounting for age, race, and health history, mothers who never breastfed were twice as likely to get diabetes—27% of the study group of 2,233 did.
So what's the connection? Researchers are still working on it. Women who breastfeed tend to shed baby weight faster, and they might be more sensitive to insulin. It's also possible that women at risk for diabetes, such as the obese, are less likely to breastfeed in the first place. "Studies have linked obesity and insulin resistance to difficulties with breastfeeding," the study authors wrote.