Breastfeeding May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes After Gestational Diabetes


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Gestational diabetes, high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, afflicts about 5-9% of pregnant women nationwide and drastically increases a woman’s risk for type 2 diabetes later in life; however, breastfeeding may reduce this risk.

According to a recent study conducted by a team led by Dr. Erica P. Gunderson at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, “researchers estimated that women who exclusively breastfed or mostly breastfed were about half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who didn’t breastfeed.”

High blood sugar levels can cause a variety of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. In addition to reducing risk of diabetes for the mother, breastfeeding is also associated with reduced obesity rates for both the mother and the infant.

Healthy eating and active living are also important for both the mother and the infant to reduce both diabetes and obesity.

Learn more about breastfeeding’s positive effect on reducing the risk of diabetes here.

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