Mothers with diabetes that breast-feed could lower obesity in babies

Mon, 28 Feb 2011
A new study has revealed that babies who are breast-fed for at least the first six months of their lives have a better chance of avoiding being overweight later in childhood . Scientists, from the Colorado School of Public Health, found that children whose mothers were diabetic during pregnancy were at heightened risk of childhood obesity, a risk that was reduced by breast-feeding .

For babies that were exposed to diabetes in utero, those breast-fed for the first six months or longer were no more likely to put on extra weight when they were between 6 and 13 years of age, than those children whose mothers were not suffering from diabetes during pregnancy .

The study, published in journal Diabetes Care, also showed that the benefits of breast-feeding were not exhibited in babies who were breast-fed for less than six months.

Dana Dabelea, lead researcher on the study, commented "Our data suggest that breast-feeding promotion may be an effective strategy for reducing the increased risk of childhood obesity in offspring of mothers with diabetes during pregnancy."

She added "Since childhood obesity and in utero exposure to maternal diabetes have both been associated with later development of type 2 diabetes, it follows that breast-feeding these children may also help reduce their future risk for developing type 2 [diabetes]. However, further research would be needed to confirm that added protection.
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