Women with diabetes during pregnancy face a significantly higher risk of having a low milk supply, a new study shows.
“This study shows the importance of further research to determine how maternal glucose intolerance may impede lactation, so that targeted therapies may be developed to increase milk supply,” said the study’s lead author Sarah Riddle, pediatrician at Center for Breastfeeding Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre in the US.
“There are limited evidence-based strategies for helping mothers to increase milk supply, and low milk supply is often cited as the reason for new mothers to stop breastfeeding earlier than planned,” Riddle noted.
The study was conducted using existing electronic medical records of 641 women who made first visits to the Center for Breastfeeding Medicine between June 1, 2011, and May 31, 2013.
All women were no more than 90 days postpartum and highly motivated to breastfeed.
Mothers with a diagnosis of low milk supply but no other lactation problems, such as latching onto the breast, were compared to mothers with lactation problems but without low milk supply.
Nearly 15 percent of those in the low milk supply group had a history of diabetes during pregnancy, while just over six percent with lactation problems but not low milk supply had maternal diabetes.
The findings appeared online in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine.