Women in 2005: A Year of Cheers and Jeers

Women’s eNews takes a look at the most significant news stories during 2005. In today’s Cheers and Jeers column, we review how women fared in the areas of political representation, poverty, gender-based violence and reproductive rights.

Breastfeeding Good for Moms Too; Gag Rule Expands

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersBreastfeeding mothers may have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association. The risk of contracting the most common form of diabetes was cut 15 percent for each year a woman breastfed her child. A year-long period appeared to be the critical factor; women who breastfed a single child for a year had a lower risk of diabetes than women who breastfed two children for shorter periods totaling a year.The study did not pinpoint a reason why breastfeeding reduced the risk, but researchers theorized that breastfeeding changes metabolism and improves insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Mothers who breastfeed for longer periods may also have better health habits in general.”We’re talking about an intervention that doesn’t cost anything, has no side effects and has other potential benefits,” Alison Steube, the study’s lead author, told HealthDay News. “We found that breastfeeding is really good for mothers.”The study relied on data drawn from two nurses’ health studies that included more than 150,000 women and is the first to find a link between breastfeeding and diabetes.