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Diabetes not associated with breastfeeding ability

Investigators found minimal difference between breastfeeding rates less than 1 week postpartum of women who had diabetes pre-pregnancy, gestational diabetes only, and no history of diabetes.

There is no association between breastfeeding for less than a week postpartum and a history of diabetes pre-pregnancy or gestational diabetes only, according to a recent study.

Milk letdown is sometimes delayed by diabetes, which can cause breastfeeding cessation if milk production in insufficient. To study the association between pre-pregnancy or gestational diabetes with breastfeeding cessation, researchers gathered data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, spanning 42 sites across 2 years.

The population-based survey was taken by 82,050 women 2 to 6 months after childbirth. Of these women, about 5% reported breastfeeding less than one week postpartum. There was a history of diabetes 3 months before pregnancy in about 11% of women, while about 3% of women were diabetic pre-pregnancy and about 8% reported gestational diabetes only.

Breastfeeding less than one week postpartum did not see a significant drop in prevalence between women with pre-pregnancy diabetes or gestational diabetes only and those without prior history of diabetes. Women with no history of diabetes saw a rate of breastfeeding less than one week postpartum of about 4%, compared to 6% of women with pre-pregnancy diabetes, and 5% of women with gestational diabetes only.

Rates of breastfeeding did not change between adjusted and unadjusted models. Researchers recommended that women consider intervention which supports their ability to breastfeed regardless of diabetes status.


Kortsmit K, Boone KI, Warner L, Horan J, Bower JK, Gallo MF. Prepregnancy and gestational diabetes and cessation of breastfeeding <1 week postpartum, united states, 2016-2018. Sage journals. 2022. doi:10.1177/00333549221099082