OK Gentlemen, you are excused for today. No hard feelings.
Now, for those of you Ladies with any interest in conceiving babies any time soon, here’s another good reason to choose breastfeeding:
New research shows that lactation lowers your risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease, AND the longer you breastfeed, lower the incidence of cardiovascular risk — even years after delivery. This is true whether or not the mother had gestational diabetes.
Researchers got this data, presented at the annual ADA Conference last week, by following 1,390 women in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study, in some cases for up to 15 or 20 years.
If I got the scientists right, they were actually looking for long-term effects of gestational diabetes, but instead stumbled upon the first-ever proof that breastfeeding “may have persistent favorable effects on cardiometabolic health that are independent of weight gain and lifestyle.”
I think this is BIG, because if you’re anywhere around my age (yeah, you know), you will remember that our mothers were scolded and cajoled into bottle-feeding their babies with formula. Who would do something so barbaric as feeding a baby from the breast?! (male doctor bias?) Which means that not only did a whole generation of us babies miss out on the protective health benefits of breast milk, but we now discover that a whole generation of mothers missed out on the heart-health benefits of lactation. Ugh.
Meanwhile, for me personally, this is happy news: I breastfed three of ‘em!