Children born from mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at high-risk of developing many health problems such as obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. To date, there is a lack of effective postnatal strategies to prevent these complications among these high-risk children.
Many studies showed that early life nutrition was involved in health programming mechanisms. Breast milk is a major component of early life nutrition and represents the ideal food for a majority of children. Indeed, breastfeeding is associated with a better health for breastfed children. However, some studies showed that maternal hyperglycemia (like in the case of GDM) could results in alterations in breast milk composition, which could affect the impact of breastfeeding on children's health. On the other hand, breastfeeding is associated with food preferences development, which could influence diet quality in early and mid-childhood, and possibly later in life. To date, only few studies evaluated breast milk composition of mother with a history of GDM and no study evaluated the impact of breastfeeding on food preferences or the impact of diet quality on children's health among children exposed to GDM during pregnancy.
Aims of this study are to:
1) Compare breast milk composition of mothers with and without a history of GDM; 2) Evaluate the association between breastfeeding and food preferences among children born from mothers with GDM; 3) Evaluate the impact of diet quality during childhood on children's health among children born from mothers with GDM.
Because diet is recognized as a health determinant in the general population, studying the role of nutrition, from infancy to childhood, among a population with a high-risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes is of major importance in order to identify new prevention strategies and therefore, ensure a better life quality for these children.