The role of lactation in GDM women

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Dec;56(4):844-52. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3182a8e067.


Lactating women exhibit more favorable blood glucose and insulin profiles, as well as increased insulin sensitivity than nonlactating women. Yet, much less is known about whether these favorable effects on metabolic risk factors persist long-term among women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The evidence that lactation reduces incident type 2 diabetes after GDM pregnancy is limited and inconsistent. Well-controlled, prospective studies that measure lactation intensity and duration, and comprehensively screen for postpartum glucose tolerance are needed to conclusively determine whether lactation can lead to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes after GDM pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes, Gestational*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lactation / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Weaning


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose