Associations Among Lactation, Maternal Carbohydrate Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Health

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Dec;58(4):827-39. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000155.


In mammalian reproductive physiology, lactation follows pregnancy; growing evidence suggests that disruption of this physiology affects a woman's lifetime risk of metabolic disease. These differences may reflect lactation-induced mobilization of fat stores and modulation of maternal stress reactivity. In addition, confounders may play a role: women who breastfeed for long durations are more likely to engage in other healthy behaviors, and obesity and insulin resistance may interfere with breastfeeding physiology. These findings underscore the importance of evidenced-based care to enable women to achieve their infant feeding goals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / physiology
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Weight Loss


  • Lipids