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Prolonged breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies suffering from obesity when they are older

A few weeks ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its recommendations on breastfeeding, stating that it should last until at least the first two years of life. And the reasons for doing so are becoming clearer.

In recent years, various studies have found that prolonging breastfeeding provides various benefits for the baby, and the study that we will share today carried out by Galician researchers is no exception, since it was found that prolonged breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of obesity in the long term. term .

The longer you breastfeed, the more protection

Published in the journal Acta Paediatrica and conducted by a multinational team that included researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO), the study consisted of a systematic review and meta-analysis of recent research on the relationship between breastfeeding and the risk of being obese or overweight in adult life.

This analysis, which was funded by the WHO, reviewed 159 studies conducted between August 2014 and May 2021. According to the results obtained, breastfeeding protects babies from obesity and overweight, and the longer the breastfeeding the greater that protection will be .

The researchers point out that it is best for the baby to breastfeed directly from the mother , because in this way he is less likely to overeat thanks to the concentration of breast milk, which changes as the baby feeds and teaches him to regulate your appetite.

The benefits of prolonged breastfeeding

As we mentioned at the beginning, this is not the first study that demonstrates the benefits that prolonged breastfeeding can have.

In the case of babies, a recent study found that prolonged breastfeeding benefits cognitive development until adolescence , and that the longer the duration of breastfeeding, the more noticeable its benefits.

And mothers benefit too . One study found that extended breastfeeding reduces the risk of hypertension after menopause, while another study concluded that it could help prevent long-term cognitive decline in the mother. In addition, each extra month that you breastfeed will also reduce the risk of different types of cancer, including breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.

On the other hand, the duration of breastfeeding can also influence the relationship between mothers and children, as research found that this was closely related to the development of greater maternal sensitivity over several years .

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