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Breastfeeding is a form of liquid gold

Jul 28, 2017

Breastfeeding is a form of liquid gold which has a great impact in reducing the chances of a mother with gestational diabetes, writes Dr Madhavi Latha.

New Delhi: Mother’s in their post natal period are mostly more skeptical of breastfeeding. They seek advices from mothers and known ones who have lived the breatsfeeding experience to get well acquainted with this journey. Breast Milk is Natural. The best organic food for a new born is mother’s milk. It is the only food which is Nutritional, Developmental and Immunological.

Its tailor made to the infant’s needs and has the amazing capability to adapt to the baby’s needs. It is living and this makes it so unique. But out of all its benefits, one of the most important one is that it has an imprint for a life-time.

Breastfeeding is a form of liquid gold which has a great impact in reducing the chances of a mother with gestational diabetes developing full-blown diabetes and prevents the risk of diabetes in kids. Childbearing may be linked with an increased risk of obesity, but according to a study published in International Journal of Obesity, breastfeeding cuts that risk by about one percent for every six months of nursing.

Mothers who breastfeed decrease their risks not only of obesity, but also heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The longer they breastfeed, the lower their risks. In one 20-year study of 704 women, those who didn’t have gestational diabetes lowered their risk for these conditions by 39 to 56 percent, depending on how long they breastfed. For women who had gestational diabetes, the risk was reduced even more- from 44 to 86 percent

Breastfeeding, even for a short duration, improves the glucose metabolism of women with gestational diabetes and is a low cost intervention to reduce the chance of developing type one diabetes at a later time. Stube’s research in 2005 suggested a correlation between the longer the duration of breastfeeding and the lower incidence of diabetes. The researchers stated that the women had a 14% to 15% decreased risk of diabetes for each additional year of lactation.

Mothers with Diabetes should start:

Developing a meal plan with a health care provider or dietician, which will help mothers to achieve gradual weight loss and simultaneously be successful at breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is good for women with diabetes, but it may make ones blood glucose a little harder to predict. However, to help prevent low blood glucose levels, one must plan to have a snack before or during nursing, keep drinking enough fluids and also keep something to treat low blood glucose while nursing.

For mothers with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, one must use either insulin or oral blood glucose-lowering medications, as it’s important to understand their safety while breastfeeding.

Benefits for Your Baby:

Colostrum, the mother’s first milk, helps to stabilize a newborn’s blood sugar, provided breastfeeding is encouraged within the first hour after the delivery. Breastfeeding has a protective effect on the onset of diabetes in childhood. The World Health Organization published their findings after reviewing several studies and found “the prevalence of overweight/obesity and type-2 diabetes was lower for breastfed subjects” (Horta, 2007). A mom who has gestational diabetes during pregnancy increases the risk that her child will become obese during childhood. However, one study found that breastfeeding a baby for at least six months neutralizes that risk. Breastfed children of mothers with diabetes were no more likely to be overweight at ages six to 13 than kids whose moms didn’t have diabetes.

Hence, recognizing the need and importance of mother’s milk, it’s an urge to all new mothers to please start practicing breastfeeding post-delivery as the above mentioned benefits will help in building a better tomorrow with healthy mothers and babies.

Authored by Dr. Madhavi Latha, lactation counsellor and a certified BPT, LCCE.

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