Breastfeeding Keeps Women Slim and Healthy
A new British study found that, breastfeeding could influence a woman's weight. Those women who breast feed their babies for the first six months are less likely to be obese 30 years later.
In order to conduct the study, the researchers collected data from 741,000 participants in the Million Women Study, conducted in England and Scotland between 1996 and 2001. The women belonged to age group of 50 to 64. The women were asked to report on how many children they bore, and the duration of breast feeding, their body mass index (BMI) and with additional details that could affect their weight such as smoking habits and physical activity.
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It was noticed that noticed that out of 741,000 women, 88 percent had at least one child, and 70 percent of those mothers reported breast-feeding for at least some time. The average duration of breast-feeding was 3.1 months per child. The women with same number of children who had breast fed had lower BMIs. The researchers also found that women with more children were more likely to have breast fed at least one of them.
Researchers found that women who had children tended to have higher BMI later in life in comparison with women who had no children. The researchers associated every six months of breast-feeding with a 0.22 drop in BMIs among the women in their 50s and early 60s.
"These are long-term effects," said Kirsty Bobrow, a clinical researcher at the University of Oxford and one lead of the study's authors. "For women in this study, childbearing and breastfeeding occurred on average 30 years before women's weights and heights were recorded."
This new study is an answer to the concerns of health professionals who find women gain weight during pregnancy which they don't lose after the birth of their babies.
Breast-feeding has benefits not only helps in burning calories. But it regulates hormones and reduces risk of breast or ovarian cancer.