Breastfeeding With Type 1 ( Diabetes )
If you have type 1 diabetes and you’re pregnant, you and your baby will both be able to enjoy all the benefits of breastfeeding. To get started, find a prenatal program for women with diabetes. Then, develop a breastfeeding meal plan and set blood glucose goals with an RD.
Breastfeeding lowers your blood glucose and requires an extra 500 calories a day. Your insulin needs, on the other hand, will drop to about half of what you used during pregnancy. You must monitor your blood glucose carefully while you’re breastfeeding. You’ll also need to adjust your insulin to your new eating and sleeping patterns and your infant’s demands for milk.
Checking blood glucose right before breastfeeding is wise. To avoid low blood glucose, eat a snack such as a glass of milk, piece of fruit, or a few crackers before or during breastfeeding and before taking a nap. A meal one to two hours before nursing works as well. Discuss this with your diabetes team.
High blood glucose levels can lead to breast infections (mastitis). To prevent infection, alternate breasts when feeding; clean the breasts with water after feedings and let them air dry; learn proper infant latching-on techniques; drink plenty of water; and avoid wearing tight bras.