Promoting Breastfeeding Among Obese Women and Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
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Breastfeeding has many health benefits for women and their babies, but particularly if the woman is obese and/or had a pregnancy affected with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Women who have had GDM are at high risk for developing metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, and their offspring are at greater risk for these metabolic disorders both in childhood and later in adulthood. There is considerable evidence that breastfeeding may attenuate these risks. The aim of this article is to present the most recent evidence on what is known about how breastfeeding can mitigate the adverse metabolic effects of obesity and GDM on both mother and child, and describe best practices that can support and sustain breastfeeding, particularly in racial/ethnic communities at risk.