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Breastfeeding for more than 6 months leads to smaller waist circumference

  Turns out, breastfeeding for more than six months is independently associated with smaller waist circumference in the decade after delivery among women. Pregnancy contributes to an accumulation of abdominal adiposity, which is an indicator of cardiometabolic dysfunction in later life. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Women’s Health.

During a recent study, the researchers assessed the relationship between waist circumference measured at follow-up and self-reported history of breastfeeding duration. Propensity score approaches were incorporated into the study to account for systematic differences between women who did and did not breastfeed.

The novel use of propensity score methods enabled the researchers to minimise the possibility of bias in the likelihood of breastfeeding due to overall healthier lifestyles. Additional analyses that consider the lifetime duration of breastfeeding is proposed in order to advance understanding of the cumulative effect of breastfeeding on maternal central adiposity.