Breastfeeding safety in patients with diabetes

AS THE advantages of breastfeeding are so well known these days, it’s not surprising that many health professionals advise their female patients – including those with insulin-dependent diabetes – that it is beneficial to do so.

But are women with diabetes being provided with accurate information in this regard?

The latest medical thinking has been that the insulin molecule is too large to pass into breastmilk. However, the results of a new pilot study by researchers in Western Australia suggest that this may not be correct.

In the study, milk samples were collected over a 24-hour period from five mothers without diabetes, four with type 1 diabetes, and five with type 2 diabetes. Analyses showed that all of the mothers had levels of insulin in their breastmilk, and the amounts did not differ significantly between the groups.

However, none of the insulin present in the milk of mothers with type 1 diabetes was found to be