New mothers with low milk supply are significantly more likely to have had diabetes during pregnancy than those with latch or nipple problems or other lactation difficulties, according to research in Breastfeeding Medicine.
Researchers examined women who attended a breastfeeding clinic within 90 days of giving birth. They identified 175 women with a low milk supply without latch or nipple problems. The control group of 226 women had latch or nipple problems without low milk supply.
Among women with a low milk supply without latch or nipple problems, 14.9 per cent had a history of gestational, type 1 or type 2 diabetes during pregnancy compared to 6.2 per cent of controls. After adjusting for caesarean delivery, preterm birth, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism and infertility, women with a low milk supply without latch or nipple problems were 2.4 times more likely to have had diabetes during pregnancy than controls.
The authors also compared 249 women with any low milk supply diagnosis and 312 controls with any diagnosis except low milk supply: 14.9 and 6.1 per cent respectively had had diabetes in pregnancy, a 2.4-fold adjusted difference. The authors concluded that, “further research is needed to elucidate how maternal glucose intolerance may impede lactation”.