What Nobody Talks About: Breastfeeding As Weight-Loss Tool
What I loved about breastfeeding my babies – aside from the obvious stuff – is the fact that I could literally sit on my ass all day long and burn calories. No, that’s not why I did it. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the fact that it helped me get back to my pre-baby weight fast. Sure, I had friends who didn’t see any weight-loss benefits ’til they stopped nursing. But for many women I know, breastfeeding was like one of those too-good-to-be-true weight-loss gimmicks you see on late-night infomercials.
Now a new study shows that breastfeeding has weight-loss benefits that last for life. Researchers at Oxford University looked at 740,000 post-menopausal women and found that average body mass index (BMI) was lower in women who had breastfed than those who had not – regardless of how many children they had. In fact, every six months of breastfeeding was linked to a one percent drop in BMI.
“A one percent reduction in BMI may seem small, but spread across the population of the UK that could mean about 10,000 fewer premature deaths per decade from obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers,” said study co-author Valerie Beral.
I doubt these study results will have an influence on new moms who are figuring out whether or not to breastfeed, but it’s interesting nonetheless. I personally find it mind-blowing that breastfeeding can affect your BMI level 30 years after the fact; just more proof of how amazing our bodies truly are.
(Photo: Valua Vitaly/Shutterstock)