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From Las Vegas, Nevada, USA:

Is a child at higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes if that child was not breast fed the first few days after birth and therefore did not receive that important colostrum from their mother's milk?

I have four children and my son, who developed diabetes at 23 months, was my only child who spent the first few days of his life in the NICU. Because of this, he did not breast feed and the colostrum which I pumped was thrown away. I'm aware of the studies involving early introduction to cow's milk and diabetes but my son did not receive formula those first few days because he refused to eat. After a few days and once my milk had already come in I was able to breast feed and he was breast fed until he was one year old. I'm wondering if not having colostrum played a role at all in his development of type 1.

By the way, he was a full term baby, 9lb 11oz. After birth he had fluid in his lungs and a low grade fever. Could his birth weight have also played a role or am I just reaching for an answer I'll never know.


There is no evidence that I know of that fasting as opposed to getting colostrum in the first days of life has any impact on the subsequent development of Type 1A or Autoimmune Diabetes, which is what I assume that your son has. The environmental triggers of insulin dependency in the genetically susceptible remain a tiresome mystery especially since the final discounting of the cows milk story. The Norwegians have suggested that low maternal intake of Vitamin D in pregnancy may be a factor and there is some recent evidence that a first exposure to cereals either in the first three months or after the sixth month of life may be contributory; but most of the other ideas like a variety of virus infections, except of course for maternal rubella, have not held their ground.


Original posting 12 Feb 2004
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:54
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