What is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) and How Does ABMB’s ‘Bridging Milk©’ Help?

ABMB’s ‘Bridging Milk©’ is freeze-dried pure human milk powder from Australian mothers. It is the new convenient and more reliable source of donor milk for pregnant women with any diabetic condition like GDM who are concerned about their ability to provide enough breast milk for their baby after birth.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) develops during pregnancy and while generally managed by diet, some women need to receive insulin to manage their blood sugars.  GDM usually resolves after the birth of the baby. However, an increasing number of women are developing non-insulin-dependent diabetes later in life.

While GDM doesn’t directly affect a mothers’ ability to breastfeed, some notice their milk is slow to ‘come in’ which can result in the regrettable advice to ‘top their baby up’ with formula.

Using ABMB’s ‘Bridging Milk©’ provides a human milk alternative enabling mothers to REJECT topping up with cow milk formula, reducing associated formula risks and lead to increased probability of exclusive breastfeeding with all of its short and long-term health benefits.

Thanks to the findings of the DAME2 study, a protocol has been established to help women identified with diabetic-related issues commence breast massage and express from the 36th week of their pregnancy. 

Gentle hand-expressing twice a day has enabled many women to express and store their colostrum in readiness for the baby to use as ‘top ups’ if required while maintaining the impetus of exclusive and frequent breastfeeding necessary to effectively establish the milk supply.

Sadly, as reported in the DAME study, there are women who are unsuccessful at expressing and who then face the unwanted choice of giving formula.  Supplementing their baby with formula can have a negative knock-on effect as “infant formulas are high in casein, making them harder to digest compared to human breast milk”3 . This means formula takes longer to process than breast milk, so making babies sleep longer which negatively reduces the number of breastfeeds required to initiate and establish breastfeeding in the early days in hospital. 

The lactation consultants and midwives at ABMB who have helped pregnant women with GDM initiate antenatal expressing, are well aware of the significant numbers of their clients who were not able to express colostrum and have faced the heartbreak of needing to give formula. 

Alternatively, they have seen how empowered women feel when they are able to provide donor expressed breast milk to their babies without interrupting skin-to -skin contact with their baby, or the frequency of breastfeeding needed to establish their supply. 

ABMB’s ‘Bridging Milk©’ is not intended to take the place of antenatal expressing or to replace breastfeeds in the early days post-birth. It is the perfect complementary feed to any breastfeed that will not hinder or delay a mothers’ milk coming in. On the contrary, a mother is less stressed giving ‘Bridging Milk©’ as her preferred choice as a supplemental feed. Why? Skin to skin contact is maintained, the ‘Bridging Milk©’ is perfectly and easily digested, and the frequency of feeds and stimulation of the breasts is not interrupted.

Tell us your story or ask for help.

Lynne Hall, Founder ABMB

1 Debi Ferrarello, MSN, MS, RN, IBCLC, NE-BC, Elizabeth B. Froh, PhD, RN, Tyonne D. Hinson, DrPH, MSN, RN, NE-BC, and Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN “Nurses’ Views on Using Pasteurised Donor Human Milk for Hypoglycemic Term Infants” 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc

2 Forster DA, Moorhead AM, Jacobs SE, Davis PG, Walker SP, McEgan KM, Opie GF, Donath SM, Gold L, McNamara C, Aylward A, Ford R, Amir LH 2017, “Advising women with diabetes in pregnancy to express breastmilk in late pregnancy (Diabetes and Antenatal Milk Expressing [DAME]): a multicentre, unblinded, randomised controlled trial.” The Lancet, 389(10085): 2204-2213.

3 Camilia R. Martin, Pei-Ra Ling and George L. Blackburn “Review of Infant Feeding: Key Features of Breast Milk and Infant Formula” Nutrients 2016, 8, 279 Reference: ‘Protein in Human Breast Milk’ Page 3 of 11