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Key Findings

Of 1,033 women with gestational diabetes enrolled in the study, 1010 did not have overt diabetes at 2 months after delivery (study baseline, 2008-2011) based on research 2-hour oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) results. There were 959 women who had diabetes testing again annually with OGTTs, or other clinical tests for diabetes during the two years after pregnancy.


12% of women with gestational diabetes developed diabetes during the two-year study follow up period; 6% during the first year, and another 6% during the second year after study baseline. 

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Both higher lactation intensity and longer duration were associated with half the risk of developing type 2 diabetes up to 2 years after early post-delivery in women, after accounting for many other social, behavioral and clinical risk factors. These findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Gunderson et al, December 2015.

SWIFT Study Participants

The SWIFT Study enrolled 1,033 women with gestational diabetes and followed up 1,010 women who did not have diabetes at the study baseline visit (6 to 9 weeks after delivery). Over 23 percent of SWIFT women have developed type 2 diabetes during follow up through 2020.

The SWIFT Study has broad racial and ethnic diversity, consisting of 31% Hispanic, 35% Asian and Pacific Islanders, 8% Black, 24% White and 2% other groups.

Pie chart of SWIFT Study participants

Original Research Methods

The SWIFT Study collected medical information, oral glucose tolerance tests, body measurements, and surveys in women with recent gestational diabetes. The methods involved annual research exams, phone calls, monthly mailings to assess breastfeeding and infant diet, and electronic health records from early post-delivery starting at 6-9 weeks postpartum and up through 2 years and beyond.  The study data included socio-demographics, lifestyle behaviors, sleep, pregnancy and medical history, and breastfeeding intention, intensity and duration, amount of infant formula, detailed feeding habits during the first year of life and child growth measures from birth.

Graphic of Data Collection Schedule
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