Breastfeeding needs to be part of the national strategy to prevent diabetes and prediabetes in the U.S.
Amarillo, Texas (PRWEB) March 30, 2013
On March 22, the CDC announced that 79 million Americans--one in three--were on the verge of diabetes and did not even know it. Describing recent results from the ongoing NHANES study, researchers at the CDC noted that an alarming number of American had abnormally high blood sugar levels, a condition known as prediabetes, If people do not make lifestyle changes, warned the CDC, their condition can turn into Type 2 diabetes. The CDC report recommended that people lose weight and engage in moderate-intensity physical activity at least 150 minutes per week.
These suggestions will help people lower their risk. But one strategy that the report did not mention was breastfeeding. Recent studies have found that breastfeeding for at least one year substantially reduces risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease (Stuebe et al. 2005; Stuebe & Rich-Edwards, 2009). Breastfeeding helps because it downregulates the stress response; it lowers levels of inflammation, which is related to both heart disease and diabetes; it improves new mothers' sleep; and lowers their risk of depression (Groer & Kendall-Tackett, 2011). Breastfeeding is even helpful when women have experienced psychological trauma, such as previous sexual assault. Lowering stress and inflammation, and improving sleep have all been found to decrease the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Praeclarus Press offers a free webinar that describes the many reasons why breastfeeding protects women from diabetes--and its precursors, such as prediabetes and metabolic syndrome. This webinar is presented by Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, a health psychologist, international board-certified lactation consultant, and clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Texas Tech University School of Medicine in Amarillo, Texas. Drawing from recent findings on stress and health, Dr. Kendall-Tackett explains why breastfeeding protects women's health by lowering inflammation levels, decreasing mothers' stress, and improving their sleep. Women who breastfeed for at least one year get the highest level of protection. And the good news is that is lasts throughout their lives."
According to Dr. Kendall-Tackett, we are on the brink of a major health crisis in the U.S.. Changing our diets and increasing the amount that we exercise are both important. "But let's not forget the important role of breastfeeding in maintaining women's health. This is particularly true when we talk about diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We've seen these effects in several well-designed recent studies with large samples. When we talk about diabetes prevention, we need to be talking about breastfeeding."
The webinar is available at http://www.PraeclarusPress.com. Praeclarus Press is a small press focusing on women's health.
Groer, M. W., & Kendall-Tackett, K. A. (2011). How breastfeeding protects women's health throughout the lifespan: The psychoneuroimmunology of human lactation. Amarillo, TX: Hale Publishing.
Stuebe, A. M., Rich-Edwards, J. W., Willett, W. C., Manson, J. E., & Michels, K. B. (2005). Duration of lactation and incidence of type 2 diabetes. Journal of the American Medical Association, 294(20), 2601-2610
Stuebe, A. M., & Rich-Edwards, J. W. (2009). The reset hypothesis: Lactation and maternal metabolism. American Journal of Perinatology, 26(1), 81-88.