Normal pregnancy is an insulin-resistant state.It is characterized by intensified fluctuations in maternal fasting and postprandial glucose levels, increased triglycerides and increased insulin secretion.
US based CARDIA study which included 1238 women without diabetes before pregnancies suggest that longer duration of breastfeeding reduces incidence of diabetes in women of childbearing age. The graded risk reduction was 47% for 6 or more months of lactation while only 25% for 6 months or less months of lactation.Possible mechanism explained in the study are:
According to cost benefit analysis, optimal duration of breastfeeding can help to reduce higher health care cost on preventable diseases such as heart disease and cancer.Other important health benefits of breastfeeding includes reduction in childhood infectious diseases, asthma and type 2 diabetes,as well as lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women.
Word Health Organisation (WHO) recommend :
In India Rapid Survey on Children statistics suggest, only 44.6 % Children aged 0-23 months were breastfed immediately/ within an hour of birth and only 64.9 % children aged 0-5 months were exclusively breastfed.
Image source: who.int