Breastfeeding offers many health benefits for babies… from a lower risk of asthma to fewer ear infections. But choosing breastfeeding can also help mothers.

Lou Baxter has the story. It’s Your Health.

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of breastfeeding for babies, but what about for moms?

A new study out of Yale adds to growing research showing breastfeeding may prevent diabetes in moms.

Scientists compared mice that nursed and those that didn’t.

They found the mice that did not lactate had fewer insulin-producing cells in their pancreas, which could lead to a higher risk for type two diabetes.

Other research has shown mothers who breastfeed have a lower chance of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, arthritis, and postpartum depression.

“It’s the most natural thing that you can do for your child. It’s the healthiest choice that you can make for your child and for the mom,” said Jennifer Foster, IBLCE.

Breastfeeding also produces oxytocin, which helps a woman’s uterus contract to its pre-pregnancy size. And it can burn calories — around 500 to 700 a day.

And for diabetic moms… “It helps you lose weight and keep the diabetes in check,” said Karen Elkind-Hirsch, PhD, director of scientific research, Woman’s Hospital-Baton Rouge.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about six months and then as a supplement to food until children are 12 months or older.