Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Women with gestational diabetes who breastfeed may have a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

NIH study finds that breastfeeding may lower type 2 diabetes risk in women with gestational diabetes.
An analysis was conducted by experts at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions. The longer a woman breastfeeds her child after developing gestational diabetes, the less likely she is to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Cuilin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., and associates carried out the study. It was published in Diabetes Care.

How does breastfeeding prevent gestational diabetes?

High blood sugar levels that first appear during pregnancy are called gestational diabetes. It increases the risk of maternal hypertension, large-bodied babies, cesarean deliveries, and low blood sugar in neonates. This is despite the fact that these complications are curable. In less than 10 to 20 years, almost half of the female gestational diabetics had type 2 diabetes.

The risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in children whose moms had gestational diabetes during pregnancy is considerably increased. Heart disease, stroke, and other health issues are more likely in type 2 diabetics.

Data from the Nurses’ Health Study II was reviewed by the researchers. 873 of the more than 4,000 trial participants had gestational diabetes. They went on to suffer type 2 diabetes over a 25-year period.

Those who breastfed for six to twelve months had a 9% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This is when compared to gestational diabetes patients who did not nurse. Those who breastfed for one to two years had a 15% lower risk. And those who breastfed longer than two years had a 27% lower risk.

The study proposed that doctors might choose to encourage patients to breastfeed if they can do so. This is to possibly lower their chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH provided additional funding for the analysis. They were also supported by NICHD.

By Editor

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