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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is there a link between breastfeeding and developing Type 2 Diabetes?

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  • 2

    Thanks

    Amanda Bartlett

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Midwife

    Amanda Bartlett is a credentialed diabetes educator and midwife. I began my career in 1984 in Oxford, UK where I studied to become a Registered … View Profile

    A diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) indicates a risk of Type 2 diabetes in the future. One fifth of women who are diagnosed with GDM will develop type 2 diabetes within 9 years and half of the women who are diagnosed with GDM will go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 30 years.

    A recent study showed that the longer women breast fed their baby, the less likely they are to develop type 2 diabetes in their future. Breast feeding is a skill which needs to be learnt and classes are available during your pregnancy. If possible, attending a class to learn about breast feeding before 32 weeks gestation will help (yes, before the baby is born).

    As a new parent, it is important to remember that you do the best you can with the information available at the time. New data is always being produced to assist in better health for mums and babies. Also, some women are not able to breast feed, or find it very difficult. Remember there are community resources to assist you such as early child hood centres and the Australian breast feeding association.

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