Breastfeeding habits in families with type 1 diabetes

S. Hummel, C. Winkler, S. Schoen, A. Knopff, S. Marienfeld, E. Bonifacio, A. G. Ziegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: Breastfeeding is acknowledged to be beneficial for child development. Women with diabetes may be more likely not to breastfeed their children because of neonatal morbidity and instability in diabetes control. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of maternal Type 1 diabetes on breastfeeding habits. Methods: Full breastfeeding and any breastfeeding were reported in the first year of life in 1560 children born in Germany between 1989 and 2004. Of those, 997 children had a mother with Type 1 diabetes, and the remaining 563 children had a father or sibling with Type 1 diabetes. Results: Fewer children of mothers with Type 1 diabetes were breastfed than children of non-diabetic mothers (77 vs. 86%; P < 0.0001) and, amongst breastfed children, there was a shorter duration of full breastfeeding (12 vs. 17 weeks; P < 0.0001) and any breastfeeding (20 vs. 26 weeks, P < 0.0001) in children of mothers with Type 1 diabetes compared with children of non-diabetic mothers. Other factors associated with reduced frequency and duration of breastfeeding were pre-term delivery (P < 0.0001), young maternal age (P < 0.0001), and firstborn children (P < 0.0001). After stratification for each of these factors, breastfeeding remained significantly less frequent and of less duration in children of mothers with Type 1 diabetes as compared with children of non-diabetic mothers. Conclusions: Mothers with Type 1 diabetes breastfeed their children less than international recommendations. Counselling to increase frequency and duration of breastfeeding may be warranted in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-676
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding prevalence
  • Nutrition
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

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