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Insulin needs while Breastfeeding

We have said many times how breastfeeding is so beneficial for both mom and baby, but we want to dig deeper and explain WHY.

There are so many good things that come with breastfeeding, so we have to take it one step at a time.


Recently, a study was published that looked into how breastfeeding affects blood sugar levels in women with type 1 diabetes. We have known that breastfeeding helps to stabilize blood sugar levels in moms, but to what extent?

This study assessed 6 days of insulin pump settings at months 1, 2, and 6. What they found was incredible!

They found that overall, median basal insulin rates were 14% lower while women breastfed, as opposed to pre-breastfeeding basal insulin levels.

AND their average carbohydrate intake was about 10% higher than before they began breastfeeding! They also tested average blood sugar levels and found them to be more stable with less hypoglycemic episodes.

What does this mean?

Breastfeeding stabilizes blood sugar levels in populations that do not produce their own insulin!

If the person is insulin dependent --- this individual will need their insulin shots or insulin via their insulin pump-- BUT breastfeeding does play a huge role in blood sugar regulation.

So what does this mean for you? Well, if you have type 1 diabetes, this means that breastfeeding can aid in maintaining blood sugar levels!

For those of you who do not have diabetes, breastfeeding will still help maintain blood sugar levels-- even if your blood sugar levels are usually within the normal range. You may not realize it, however, it will help to improve overall health, decrease fatigue, and decrease the amount of inflammation in the body due to natural hormone regulation that coincides with breastfeeding.

Just another win for breastfeeding!


If you want to learn more about breastfeeding or maternal nutrition, check out more of our blog posts here and sign up for our Mamas Monthly newsletter!

For those of you who are ready to take the next step to implementing these healthy nutritional changes into your baby's AND your life, fill out our Maternal Coaching application here! We can't wait to speak to you soon!

Until next time! Stay amazing Mamas!

Mikayla and Cassie

Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors

Photo by Alina Stiba on Unsplash


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