Women who breastfeed their babies for six months or more may be able to cut their risk of developing diabetes in the future by nearly half. In type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond properly to insulin, a hormone that signals cells to take in the sugar glucose from the blood. If left untreated, blood sugar levels can soar and cause a host of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.
Diabetes and Breastfeeding:
Diabetes is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, and its worldwide prevalence has increased rapidly, especially in developing countries. Breastfeeding has been linked to all manner of benefits for both mothers and their babies, including lower risks for ovarian cancer and heart disease for mothers, and better brain development and lower rates of obesity and asthma in their children.
Due to diabetes, the risk of adverse outcomes is higher for both the mother and her child compared with that for the general population.
On a daily basis, they have to monitor their blood glucose levels and change the insulin doses frequently; many have severe frequent hypoglycemic episodes, especially in early pregnancy.
These extra challenges may have a negative effect on their transition to motherhood.
Diabetes Risk Reduction through Breastfeeding:
There is a strong association between breastfeeding duration and lower risk of developing diabetes, even after accounting for all possible confounding risk factors.
A diabetes diagnosis after pregnancy was much more common among women who developed a version of the condition known as gestational diabetes while they were pregnant.
Protective mechanism is the influence of lactation-associated hormones on the pancreatic cells that control blood insulin levels and thereby impact blood sugar while breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding may induce protective effects via hormones that act in the pancreas, controlling blood insulin levels and blood sugar.
Lactating women have lower circulating glucose, and lactation may help preserve the function of the cells that produce insulin.