Breastfeeding May Reduce Risk of T2DM for Women With GDM

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Breastfeeding May Reduce Risk of T2DM for Women With GDM
Breastfeeding May Reduce Risk of T2DM for Women With GDM

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Breastfeeding for two months or more may reduce the odds of developing type 2 diabetes for mothers who had already experienced gestational diabetes in the past; and the longer a woman breastfeeds, the lower the odds of type 2 diabetes, according to research published online Nov. 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Erica Gunderson, Ph.D., M.P.H., a senior research scientist with Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and colleagues followed 959 women two years after they had gestational diabetes during pregnancy and gave birth. During this time, 12 percent of them developed type 2 diabetes.

Mothers who exclusively breastfed their babies had a 54 percent lower risk of developing diabetes compared to mothers who only used formula. Women who fed their babies a mixture of formula and breast milk or even mostly used formula reduced the odds of type 2 diabetes by more than a third compared to formula-feeding alone. Breastfeeding for more than 10 months was linked to the mother's reduced risk of diabetes by 57 percent compared to breastfeeding two months or less. Mothers who breastfed their babies somewhere between two and 10 months had about half the risk of developing diabetes compared to those who breastfed less than two months.

"The main policy implication is that we need to focus our breastfeeding promotion efforts to high-risk women, those who are obese or have a pregnancy with gestational diabetes," Gunderson told HealthDay.

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