Glycaemic behaviour during breastfeeding in women with Type 1 diabetes

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



To describe glycaemia in both breastfeeding women and artificially feeding women with Type 1 diabetes, and the changes in glycaemia induced by suckling.


A blinded continuous glucose monitor was applied for up to 6 days in eight breastfeeding and eight artificially feeding women with Type 1 diabetes 2–4 months postpartum. Women recorded glucose levels, insulin dosages, oral intake and breastfeeding episodes. A standardized breakfast was consumed on 2 days. A third group (clinic controls) were identified from a historical database.


Carbohydrate intake tended to be higher in breastfeeding than artificially feeding women (P = 0.09) despite similar insulin requirements. Compared with breastfeeding women, the high blood glucose index and standard deviation of glucose were higher in artificially feeding women (P = 0.02 and 0.06, respectively) and in the clinical control group (P = 0.02 and 0.05, respectively). The low blood glucose index and hypoglycaemia were similar. After suckling, the low blood glucose index increased compared with before (P < 0.01) and during (P < 0.01) suckling. Hypoglycaemia (blood glucose < 4.0 mmol/l) occurred within 3 h of suckling in 14% of suckling episodes, and was associated with time from last oral intake (P = 0.04) and last rapid-acting insulin (P = 0.03). After a standardized breakfast, the area under the glucose curve was positive. In breastfeeding women the area under the glucose curve was positive if suckling was avoided for 1 h after eating and negative if suckling occurred within 30 min of eating.


Breastfeeding women with Type 1 diabetes had similar hypoglycaemia but lower glucose variability than artificially feeding women. Suckling reduced maternal glucose levels but did not cause hypoglycaemia in most episodes.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles