Breastfeeding helps women stay slim

Women who breastfed their babies even for few months after the birth were less prone to become obese when they get older, revealed a new study. Researchers from the Oxford University found that for every six months a mother gives breast milk to her baby, she loses around two lb that depending on her initial height and weight.

A team led by Prof Dr Kirsty Bobrow, carried out a latest study involving more than seven hundred and forty thousand women. The study provides convincing evidence that breastfeeding could help them reverse their weight gain, and then help women keep the flab off for good. Breastfeeding consumes large amount of energy and experts calculated previously that breastfeeding burns five hundred calories a day.

Then experts have concluded that for every six months a mother breastfeeds her baby, her BMI (body mass index) drops up to one percent. An average woman who is five and half feet tall and weighs 11st 1lb would have a BMI dimension of twenty-five that is categorized as chubby. However, if her BMI dropped by one percent then she appeared to be healthy.

Lead author Dr Bobrow, explained it is already known that breastfeeding is best for babies, and this study adds to a growing body of evidence that the benefits extend to the mother as well, even thirty years after she’s given birth. Pregnant women should be made aware of these benefits to help them make an informed choice about infant feeding.

Even though this may not sound much, but the experts claim that this much of breastfeeding could help prevent thousands of deaths from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses related to obesity. Doctors and midwives are increasingly concerned that many women are becoming obese by gaining weight during pregnancy, which they never manage to shift after the birth.

If such women continue to have several children, they will become progressively fatter with every pregnancy. Prof Dame Valerie Beral, director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University, also involved in the study, stated their study suggests that just six months of breastfeeding by women could reduce their risk of obesity in later life.

Just one percent reduction in BMI may seem small, but spread across the population of the UK that could mean about ten thousand less premature deaths per decade from obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, added Dr Beral. The studywas published in the International Journal of Obesity.


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