Less Risk Of Obesity For Mom

New research claims that breastfeeding can have a positive effect on a woman’s weight even 30 years down the road. Read on to learn more.

Woman standing on scale

For every 6 months a woman breastfeeds, her BMI may decrease by 1 percent, according to new research from the UK. Researchers gathered data from nearly 750,000 women to draw these conclusions, which is yet another reason to breastfeed your babies, and breastfeed them as long as you both would like to.

A weighty issue

Most moms know about the short-term effects of breastfeeding and weight loss. Not everyone sheds pounds easily while nursing, but a lot of moms do -- you use a lot of calories to make milk and it can really help burn off your pregnancy weight.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I always lose tons of weight within a few weeks of giving birth -- water weight as well as regular weight. I always feel like a skeleton or like I’ve deflated. I tend to put a few pounds back on once the baby gets older but it’s super awesome during that first weight loss.

Other moms tend to hold on to those last 5 or so pounds, which can be depressing, but this study may now give those moms hope.

"These are long-term effects," said Kirsty Bobrow, a clinical researcher at the University of Oxford and one 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."

The connection

Researchers caution that they could not prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the lower BMIs and breastfeeding -- one point that was brought up was perhaps it was more the type of woman who breastfeeds that would make her a bit thinner in her 50s, instead of the breastfeeding itself.

But it’s nice to have another potential benefit for mom in addition to the countless benefits baby reaps from her breastfeeding experience. Breastfeeding also lowers mom’s chances of developing certain types of cancers, such as breast and ovarian.

More on breastfeeding

Drinking alcohol and breastfeeding: What is safe?
Breastfeeding tips
Ten breastfeeding myths you should never fall for

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