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Breastfeeding in Diabetic Mother

Whether the mother have type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, she can and should continue to breastfeed her baby exclusively for 6 months and up to 2 years. The milk from the a diabetic mother does not put the baby at risk of contaminating diabetes disease as well. On the contrary, it is important for the diabetic mother to breastfeed her baby in order to reduce the baby’s risk of developing diabetes. The natural colostrum in the milk contributes in stabilizing the blood sugar levels of the baby while simultaneously helping the mother to lose weight naturally and use the insulin more efficiently. Breastfeeding lowers the need of the diabetic mother for insulin. It helps release the Oxytocin, the love hormone which improves overall physical and emotional health of the mother and relieves the stress.

When breastfeeding, diabetic mothers should eat food rich in protein and carbs. The need for calories normally increase to 250 a day which can be achieved by drinking milk themselves. Most diabetic mothers experience a milk letdown. This refers to the difficulty of producing milk after days of delivery. During those times, it is advised to get a doctor recommended hypoallergenic milk formula for the baby as supplement for the milk of the mother. However, it is important for the mother to keep breast feeding the baby in order to stimulate the production of one’s own milk, else the production of milk will further delay or might not proceed. Breast feeding is important because it also facilitates the important skin to skin contact of the baby with the mother which will trigger the hormones that produces milk. One should also avoid liquor or alcohol.

Breastfeeding Diabetic mothers with high blood sugar levels can also sweeten the mother’s milk. This may in turn cause the baby to develop a sweet tooth in the long run. New born Babies from diabetic mothers also commonly develop jaundice. However, generally, if the diabetic mother is taking certain medication, it is important for the mother to consult the doctor to know what medication is safe for the baby for breastfeeding.

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