All you need to know about breastfeeding

DN Bureau

Breastfeeding the infant for a certain amount of time has always been associated with health benefits.

Representational image
Representational image

Washington DC: Breastfeeding the infant for a certain amount of time has always been associated with health benefits.

A group of scientists explored the short-term and long-term benefits, yet unknown, for mother as well as the baby. The findings inferred that the breastfeeding may help reduce mom's risk of type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes.

A study of 4,400 women followed for more than 20 years suggests breastfeeding for a longer period of time could help women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Women with gestational diabetes who lactated for more than one year total (for all children combined) reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by about 30 percent compared to those who did not breastfeed at all.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes. A study of overweight and obese Hispanic teens with a family history of type 2 diabetes found that those who were breastfed for at least one month as babies were substantially less likely to have metabolic syndrome in their teen years compared to those who were not breastfed.

This protective benefit of breastfeeding was seen among those born to mothers with and without gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Breastfeeding appeared protective against overweight in babies who gain weight rapidly, the study claimed.

Gaining weight rapidly during early life puts infants at increased risk for obesity later on. In the study, babies who gained weight rapidly in the first four months of life were significantly more likely to be classified as overweight by one year of age if they were exclusively formula fed rather than breastfed for 11 months or longer.

Evidences were found of the theory that a woman's weight influences what's in her breast milk. A breastfeeding mom's diet may influence her baby's intestinal microbiome, another study claimed.

The fat, carbohydrate, protein and calorie contents of a breastfeeding mom's diet have been found to be associated with the kinds of bacteria found in her baby's stool.

This study, the first of its kind relating a mother's diet to her infant's microbiome, shed new light on how the intestinal microbiome is shaped during the first months of life. According to another study, drinking sweetened beverages causes fructose spike in breast milk.

Fructose levels in breast milk were unaffected by drinking an artificially-sweetened beverage containing zero grams of sugar. The findings from the study will b presented at The Nutrition 2018 meeting at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. (ANI)

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