Mother and Baby Both Winners at the Weight Loss Game
infant's risk of future overweight declines the longer breastfeeding
continues, According to a recent study which appeared in The American
Journal of Epidemiology.
one month of breastfeeding reduces this risk by 4 per cent, statistical
analysis of 17 original studies revealed that breastfeeding through
nine months of age, reduced the rate of future overweight by thirty
It is not
known why infants who are breastfed have this reduced risk of obesity.
However, there is some speculation about the effects of nutrition on
the developing areas of the brain that control appetite and body
weight. It is also not clear whether the effect continues beyond the
ninth month of breastfeeding since the study did not consider
breastfeeding beyond this point.
of the studies analyzed included infants who were only partially
breastfed, it seems logical that exclusively breastfed infants might
derive even greater benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics and
most health organizations worldwide recommend exclusive breastfeeding
for the first six months of life with continued breastfeeding along
with complementary foods after this time.
studies have also shown that breastfeeding mothers also return to their
pre-pregnancy weight sooner than their formula feeding counterparts. It
appears that breastfeeding mother and baby are both winners of the
weight loss game.
on breastfeeding is available from the La Leche League International
(LLLI) is a nonprofit organization that offers information and
encouragement-primarily through personal help-to those women who want
to breastfeed their babies. The organiza5ions has a Health Advisory
Council of more than 40 professionals in the areas of pediatrics,
obstetrics, allergy, nutrition, psychology, family practice, and
For more information visit www.lalecheleague.org