Factors Associated with Breastfeeding Duration and Satisfaction after Gestational Diabetes among Women Living in Northwest Ohio


  • Kerri Lynn Knippen Department of Public and Allied Health, Bowling Green State University
  • Natalie Walkup ProMedica
  • Cameron Burmeister College of Medicine and Life Sciences, The University of Toledo
  • Joseph Dake School of Population Health, The University of Toledo
  • Kent Bishop ProMedica




Gestational diabetes mellitus, Lactation, Lactogenesis, Breastfeeding


Background: Given the potential for type 2 diabetes and the protective benefits of breastfeeding after gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), there is a need to promote and support breastfeeding; however, delayed lactogenesis and postpartum experiences may challenge breastfeeding success. We aimed to describe factors that influence breastfeeding duration and satisfaction after GDM.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey, informed by an elicitation phase and subject matter expert review, was conducted to evaluate factors associated with breastfeeding satisfaction and duration after GDM. The study included women (n = 50) from Northwest Ohio who delivered a living child from a singleton pregnancy at greater than or equal to 34 weeks gestation, who intended to breastfeed after GDM. Spearman correlation and Mann-Whitney U test were calculated to evaluate factors associated with breastfeeding duration and satisfaction.
Results: Women described a lack of breastfeeding support, and there appeared to be a lack of awareness on the benefits of breastfeeding after GDM. Attitudes were associated with breastfeeding duration and satisfaction. Negative experiences in the child’s first week of life were associated with shorter duration and lower level of satisfaction. Delayed lactogenesis, barriers after delivery, and negative normative influences were significantly associated with a lower level of breastfeeding satisfaction.
Conclusion: More work is needed to deliver breastfeeding education and support after GDM. Interventions tailored for GDM are recommended to promote positive breastfeeding beliefs and realistic breastfeeding expectations. Ongoing support to address early experiences and barriers after GDM is recommended. Further work should examine these factors in a larger, more diverse sample.






Research Articles