Besides protecting their kids from cancer, moms can improve the agility and mobility of their teenagers merely by breastfeeding them as babies, according to a recent study.
Researchers surveyed the parents of more than 2,500 adolescents (some 1,400 of them girls) to determine how they fed the children from birth and for how long a period. Young teens also performed a series of physical tests to determine such things as muscular strength and aerobic capacities.
Regardless of fat mass, muscle mass and height, teenage patients who had been breastfed (solely or along with other food) had stronger leg muscles, specifically a greater ability to jump vertically, than kids who weren't breastfed. Also, kids who had been breastfed for just three to five months and, even six months or longer, were 50 percent less likely to perform badly in jumping tests compared to those who were never breastfed.
Children aren't the only ones who benefit from breastfeeding. A mom can lower her risks of type 2 diabetes, postpartum depression and various cancers (breast, ovarian), thanks to breastfeeding too.
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 140, No. 11, p. 1989-1995, November 1, 2010
healthfinder.gov January 7, 2011
ScienceDaily January 6, 2011