FAQ: How does Maternal Diabetes impact breastfeeding?
Types of Diabetes :
There are 3 main types of diabetes.
Is it safe to breastfeed for a mother having diabetes?
It is perfectly safe to breastfeed while having diabetes. There are no risks to the baby. On the contrary, breastfeeding gives protection to the baby against both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. The medication (including insulin injections) are safe to take while breastfeeding and do not pass to the baby via breast milk. However, the mother may face low blood sugar because of the extra calories and energy burnt by breastfeeding. Therefore, it is important to monitor sugar levels and maintain them.
Breastfeeding Challenges for a Diabetic Mother :
Mothers having gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of having c-section and preterm birth. Gestational diabetes resolves after childbirth, but it doesn't happen overnight. It can take up to a few days to weeks for blood sugar levels to return to normal. But for mothers having other types of diabetes, the challenges continue into and throughout their breastfeeding journey.
Diabetic mothers may experience a delay in milk production right after childbirth. This is expected. Antenatal colostrum harvesting can help in providing this liquid gold to the baby until the mother starts producing milk.
How does Breastfeeding help a Diabetic Mother?
Breastfeeding increases the body’s insulin sensitivity and has long term positive effects on glucose metabolism. Breastfeeding has benefits for all types of diabetes.
How does Breastfeeding help the Babies of a Diabetic Mother?
Breastfeeding provides protection against diabetes to all babies irrespective of whether or not their mothers have diabetes. But in the case of babies of diabetic mothers, breastfeeding becomes even more important as they have a varying amount of genetic predisposition to developing diabetes.
Tips for effective Breastfeeding:
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