World Diabetes Day 2022: Does Diabetes Affect Breastfeeding?

Does Breastfeeding Affect Gestational Diabetes? An expert answers

World Diabetes Day 2022: If you got your diabetes basics right, you probably know that diabetes causes the body to gradually lose its ability to produce insulin. Insulin plays an important role in milk production. So for diabetic mothers, breastfeeding brings both benefits and challenges!

Breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and the child as it protects the infant from type 1 diabetes. Breastfeeding also helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in the mother. On the challenge front, diabetes is said to affect the milk supply.

There are also myths about whether it is safe for diabetic mothers to provide breast milk to milk banks. Let’s answer some common questions about diabetes and breastfeeding.

Women can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5 facts about diabetes and breastfeeding

1. How does breastfeeding affect blood sugar levels?

Immediately after the delivery of the placenta, blood sugar levels begin to drop and insulin requirements are halved. Therefore, breastfeeding mothers can experience hypoglycemia even within an hour of breastfeeding. After monitoring blood sugar levels, they are advised to have a snack before feeding.

2. How does diabetes affect milk production in a breastfeeding mother?

You may be wondering if it is difficult for diabetic mothers to produce milk. Let us tell you that obesity, maternal age, insulin-treated diabetes may have difficulty initiating milk production. Insulin resistance, linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes, is associated with a delay in lactogenesis. Overweight diabetic mothers should be reassured and motivated to breastfeed. You can use the breast pump to stimulate milk production when the baby is not suckling efficiently.

Also read: Does Breastfeeding Affect Gestational Diabetes? An expert answers

diabetes and breast milk production
Diabetes can cause problems with milk production. Image courtesy; Shutterstock

3. Is It Safe to Use Insulin and Diabetes Medication While Breastfeeding?

Insulin is safe to use while breastfeeding. Some of the OHAs (oral hypoglycemic drugs) are safe to use while breastfeeding. On the recommendation of a doctor, the dosage should be reduced after delivery. Some of them may go back to pre-pregnancy insulin dosing immediately after delivery.

4. How does breastfeeding affect diabetes management and blood sugar levels?

while breastfeeding blood sugar levels Waste after childbirth and breastfeeding is recommended for diabetic mothers for sugar control and weight loss. As such, breastfeeding is recommended for the prevention of neonatal hypoglycemia and for infant nutrition.

5. What precautions are recommended for diabetic mothers?

After the birth, diabetic mothers are advised of lifestyle measures such as proper nutrition, regular exercise and weight loss. Annual glucose screening and lifestyle interventions are offered to mothers with gestational diabetes. At the same time, the probability of recurrence in a future pregnancy is explained. Mothers with diabetes are even educated on the need for proper contraception and good glucose control in future pregnancies.

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