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Media Release: LA LECHE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL OFFERS SOME GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE LINK BETWEEN BREASTFEEDING AND BETTER HEALTH DURING AMERICAN DIABETES MONTH

(Schaumburg, IL)-November is American Diabetes Month. While there is still much to learn about this disease, there is some good news for diabetic mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies.

A study that appeared in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine in July 2002 concluded that breastfeeding reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes among Native Canadian children. The authors believe that breastfeeding should be promoted to help control the disease. This study confirmed earlier studies that found breastfeeding lessens the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.

Because children of diabetics run a higher than average risk of developing the disease, diabetic mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed their babies. Research indicates that exclusive breastfeeding helps protect against the development of insulin-dependent diabetes. Avoiding the early introduction of cow's milk is one way to help prevent the disease.

Mothers with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are physically able to breastfeed. The woman with type 1 diabetes, also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, as well as the mother with type 2 diabetes are usually able to increase their diet and maintain their insulin level. Some may find insulin requirements are also reduced while breastfeeding. Monitoring blood sugar levels is necessary to achieve correct balance whether the mother is breastfeeding or not but many diabetic mothers have shown an increase in overall health while breastfeeding.

Extensive research points to compelling advantages to infants, mothers, families, and the environment from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding significantly decreases the risks to a large number of acute and chronic diseases.

If you would like additional information on breastfeeding, please contact La Leche League International, the world's foremost authority on breastfeeding, at (847) 519-7730 or visit us on the web at www.lalecheleague.org

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