At intervals of five days after giving birth and then four months after giving birth, Danish researchers interviewed 102 women with type 1 about breastfeeding. The type 1 women’s breastfeeding habits were then compared to a large random sample from the general population of Danish women.
The researchers discovered that five days after delivery, 86 percent of the type 1 women were still breastfeeding. Four months after delivery, 54 percent of the women were breastfeeding exclusively, 14 percent were breastfeeding part of the time, and 32 percent were not breastfeeding at all.
Among the women in the general population, 50 percent were breastfeeding exclusively four months later, 26 percent part of the time and 24 percent not at all.
“Mothers exclusively breastfeeding at four months were characterized by . . . a higher educational level and vaginal delivery and included a high proportion of nonsmokers,” write the researchers, who add that predictors of exclusive breastfeeding at four months were previous experience with breastfeeding and higher educational level.
“Cessation of breastfeeding was mainly due to common nursing problems, such as perceived milk supply, and not related to maternal diabetes status.”
—Diabetes Care, April 2006
Edna Stage, RN, was a researcher on the breastfeeding study
Why is this study important to women with type 1 diabetes?
Many women with type 1 are concerned about their ability to breastfeed and their risk of fluctuating blood glucose during lactation. It is therefore good news to these women that their ability to breastfeed is the same as it is for healthy women, and that the risk of hypoglycemia isn’t much higher during lactation.