Breastfeeding can ward off disease, for both mother and baby.
While breastfeeding is rarely a topic of discussion, two recent articles have pointed to the health benefits of nursing infants the natural way.
In a Huffington Post article, certified lactation counselor Gina Ciagne noted that research has found breastfeeding can reduce an infant’s risk for diseases like obesity, non-specific gastroenteritis and diabetes--including type 1, which has been linked to celiac disease. Another study found the U.S. could save $13 billion on health care if women breastfed exclusively for 6 months, then continued breastfeeding with additional supplements for the following 6 months.
Time magazine also addressed the benefits of breastfeeding, but focused on the mother’s health. Research has found that women who breastfeed significantly reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, yet only 14% of women nurse for at least 6 months, according to the article.
For women with celiac disease, the transition from breastfeeding to more solid foods—especially those containing gluten—can be challenging. Current recommendations advise mothers to continue breastfeeding while introducing gluten to the child’s diet.