Breastfeeding best after GDM
The risk of obesity is increased in children whose mothers had gestational diabetes (GDM). The University of Colorado has therefore investigated if this risk is affected by neonatal nutrition.
This retrospective study included 89 children whose mothers had GDM.
The children were compared with 379 other children from the same area. At birth there had been no significant differences in the weight of the babies in each group.
Approximately 83% of the babies exposed to diabetes in utero were breast fed compared with 88% of the control group. The average duration of breast feeding was also similar in each group.
In both groups, those who were breast fed for at least six months had a lower BMI than those breast fed for less time. A longer duration of breast feeding was also associated with less subcutaneous and visceral fat later in childhood.
The waist circumference at age 6–13 years was six centimetres smaller if they had been breast fed for at least six months.
These findings suggest that breast milk attenuates the adiposity associated with diabetes in pregnancy.
Preventing childhood obesity is important and promoting breast feeding is one way to do this.
Children whose mothers did not have diabetes and were only briefly breast fed became fatter than those who had been exposed to diabetes but had been breast fed for more than six months.
Dr John Dowden, Canberra
Crume TL, Ogden L, Maligie M, Sheffield S, Bischoff KJ, McDuffie R, et al. Long-term impact of neonatal breastfeeding on childhood adiposity and fat distribution among children exposed to diabetes in utero. Diabetes Care 2011;34:641-5
Tags: , Research Update