Type 1 Diabetes Tied to Shorter Breast-Feeding Duration

Education level and early breast-feeding also predicted breast-feeding six months postpartum

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although mothers with type 1 diabetes are less likely to partially or exclusively breast-feed at two months, diabetes is not an independent risk factor for the initiation and maintenance of breast-feeding, according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

Carina Sparud-Lundin, R.N., Ph.D., from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues compared predictive factors for the initiation and maintenance of breast-feeding in 108 mothers with type 1 diabetes to 104 mothers without diabetes, who were matched for parity and gestational age. Medical records and telephone interviews two and six months after delivery were used to collect mother and infant outcomes.

The investigators found that mothers with diabetes were less likely to partially or exclusively breast-feed at two months (odds ratio [OR], 0.42) and at six months (OR, 0.50), compared to mothers without diabetes. Further analysis indicated that type 1 diabetes was not an independent predictive factor for breast-feeding. Higher maternal education level and breast-feeding on discharge from hospital were identified as predictive factors of breast-feeding at two and six months after birth. Delivery after 37 weeks and early breast-feeding were also predictive of breast-feeding six months after birth.

"Type 1 diabetes in mothers is not an independent risk factor for shorter duration of breast-feeding," the authors write. "Future research needs to explore factors other than birth-related that might influence long-term breast-feeding in mothers with type 1 diabetes."

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