Diabetes and Pregnancy

I take medication for my diabetes. How will breastfeeding affect the health of my baby?
The insulin you may take to control your diabetes should not cross over into breast milk.  Even if small amounts cross over, the baby’s digestive system will break it down.  Other medications such as glibenclamide and glipizide have not been detected in breast milk.

Only small amounts of metformin have been found in breast milk and no changes in infant growth and development have been seen.  A slightly larger percentage of tolbutamide has been detected in breast milk. There are no data for the following medications: acarbose, glibornuride, gliclazide, glimepiride, gliquidone,  glisoxepide,  miglitol,  pioglitazone,  repaglinide and   rosiglitazone.  There   are   many   health   benefits   of breastfeeding,  including   a   lowered   risk   of   your   child developing diabetes later in life. 
How will breastfeeding affect my health?
Mothers   with   Type   1   diabetes   will   often experience lowered blood sugar after nursing. Your insulin requirements   may   be   reduced.  Eat   a   snack   with carbohydrates and protein prior to nursing to help avoid low blood sugars.  Keep snacks,  glucose tablets or fast-acting sugars available where you nurse in case of a rapid decline in blood sugar.  Keep in mind with any type of diabetes, your blood sugar may rise and/or fall as you nurse.

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    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.  2001.  Understanding Gestational Diabetes:  A Practical Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.  Available at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/gesttoc.htm 
    Reece EA and Homko CJ. 2000. Why do diabetic women deliver malformed infants? Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 43(1):32-45.
    Rosenn BM and Miodovnik M. 2000. Medical complications of diabetes mellitus in pregnancy. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 43(1):17-31.

For more information about the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists or to find a service in your area, call (866) 626-6847 or visit us online at: http://www.OTISpregnancy.org

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