New research shows that moms with gestational diabetes can signifcantly lower their chance of developing Type II Diabetes by breastfeeding their baby.
Erica Gunderson, PhD researcher, lead the investigation at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. The study (published in Annals of Internal MedicineI) compared women with gestational diabetes who breastfed or used formula to feed their babies. They found that the women who exclusively breastfed were 50% less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes 24 months after they had delivered their babies.
Earlier reports on the subject did not provide such a strong correlation between breastfeeding and maternal type II diabetes. According to the new report, those studies had not controlled for several other factors. Specifically, this study examined 1,000 women with gestational diabetes between 2008 and 2011. Estimates show 75% of the women participating in the study were Hispanic, Asian, or black.
The study's results will "will have major implications for health care systems to allocate greater resources for provision of breastfeeding education and support services to high-risk women with GDM so that they may breastfeed optimally and lower their risk," Gunderson said.