The last thing new mums need is more stress, but well-meaning advice can sometimes cause exactly that. Especially when it comes to breastfeeding.
Research from James Cook University has some reassuring news for mums with diabetes: if you can’t express, don’t stress.
Midwives, obstetricians and diabetes educators encourage women with diabetes to express milk before giving birth.
The rich milk produced at this time, known as colostrum, was thought to protect newborns against some of the potential complications of diabetic pregnancies.
But expressing milk can prove difficult, if not impossible, for some mums, causing extra anxiety and worry.
So James Cook University’s Dr Jordan Casey, Professor Clare Heal and their colleagues decided to test the assumption.
While the benefits of breastfeeding in general remain undisputed, Professor Heal results suggest diabetic mums shouldn’t get too hung up on trying to express colostrum.
“Our study has shown that expressing colostrum antenatally probably makes no difference to baby’s health,” she says.
“It does lead to the baby being more likely to be breastfed, which is great, but women shouldn’t beat themselves up if they can’t do it.”
(The information in this article should not be considered medical advice. Please see your medical professional for information tailored to your personal circumstances.)
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