Diabetes and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is possible for people with diabetes
Breastfeeding is possible for people with diabetes

Breastfeeding is widely considered to be the best way of feeding your new born baby and this applies to mothers with diabetes as well.

We’ve taken a look at some of the common questions that get asked about diabetes and breastfeeding, and provide the answers you need to know.

Is it healthy for people with diabetes to breastfeed their baby?

Breastfeeding is considered to offer the best nutrition for your baby and diabetes need not override this advice.

Will diabetes affect the quality of my milk?

Your own blood sugar levels can affect your milk but if your blood glucose is well controlled, this should not be a problem.

Is it more difficult to produce milk with diabetes?

Insulin plays a part in milk production and so diabetes can affect your ability to produce milk.

You may find that diabetes causes your milk to be produced a little more slowly but again, well controlled diabetes should reduce this problem.

Will breastfeeding affect my blood glucose levels?

To produce the milk, your body will use glucose from your blood so whilst you are breastfeeding, your blood glucose levels may be affected.

People taking insulin may find that their insulin requirements are reduced whilst they are producing milk.

Mothers taking glucose lowering medication should be aware of the signs of hypoglycemia.

Will the medication I take affect my baby?

Whilst your sugar levels can influence the lactose in your milk, the diabetic medication you take such as insulin, metformin and sulphonylureas should not directly affect your baby.

If you are taking other medication, check the patient information leaflet of the medication and ask your doctor if you are at all unsure.

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