From previous research, we know that mothers who breastfeed lose the pregnancy weight earlier. Breastfeeding is also associated with a reduction in the risk of both breast and ovarian cancers.

A recent study of more than 4,700 Korean women looked at the relationship between the duration of lifelong duration of breastfeeding and the development of metabolic syndrome. The ATP III criteria define metabolic syndrome as the presence of any three of the following five traits:

Blood Pressure: Blood pressure ≥130/85 mmHg or drug treatment for elevated blood pressure
HDL is low: Serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol <40 mg/dL (1 mmol/L) in men and <50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women or drug treatment for low HDL cholesterol
Abdominal obesity, defined as a waist circumference in men ≥102 cm (40 in) and in women ≥88 cm (35 in)
Triglycerides: Serum triglycerides ≥150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) or drug treatment for elevated triglycerides
Sugars: Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) ≥100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or drug treatment for elevated blood glucose

Metabolic syndrome is bad because it is a risk factor for multiple cardiovascular and endocrine problems.

The research suggested that lifelong breastfeeding for ≥12 months may be associated with lower risk for metabolic syndrome.

If you don’t already love breastfeeding because of the benefits it has for both mother, baby, and dad, that’s one more reason to do it!

Choi Se Rin, Kim Yong Min, Cho Min Su, Kim So Hyun, and Shim Young Suk. Journal of Women’s Health. January 2017. Oline link, here.