Breastfeeding is recommended as the preferred method of feeding for infants for at least 1 year, because of its multiple immediate and long-term benefits for both the mother and child. Among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), breastfeeding is associated with increased insulin sensitivity, improved insulin secretion, improved glucose tolerance, and a reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Lactation has also been associated with postpartum weight loss, reduced long-term obesity risk, a lower prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms underlying the benefits of breastfeeding for the mother are unclear. However, a role of adipose tissue-produced cytokines (adipokines) has been suggested. Lactation appears to mobilize adipose tissue accrued during pregnancy, and some changes in adipokine levels have been reported. Higher lactation intensity has been associated with lower plasma leptin, a peptide mainly associated with appetite regulation and insulin resistance.
Part of the book: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus