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The Study of Women, Infant Feeding and Type 2 Diabetes after GDM Pregnancy (SWIFT) was funded by the National Institutes of Health with the goal of determining the role of early infant feeding in the development of type 2 diabetes after pregnancy among women with gestational diabetes.

R01 HD050625 (Gunderson, PI), “Lactation and Glucose Tolerance after GDM Pregnancy.”

SWIFT Study Overview and Findings:

The SWIFT Study participants included 1,033 pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in the Kaiser Permanente healthcare system. The study recruited women during pregnancy and enrolled them soon after delivery during 2008 through 2011. Women with recent GDM attended three in-person research visits, with the first visit at 6 to 9 weeks post-delivery, and two study visits thereafter annually for 2 years. At each study visit, research staff administered oral glucose tolerance tests, measured body weight, height and waist circumference, assessed infant feeding practices, pregnancy outcomes, medical history, social factors and lifestyle behaviors.

The SWIFT Study is the largest prospective study of postpartum women with GDM in the world to conduct standardized testing of oral glucose tolerance and assessment of infant feeding from early post-delivery through 2 years later. The primary study findings were that greater lactation intensity and duration were associated with up to 50% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes in women during two years after a GDM pregnancy. These findings are published in the article, Gunderson et al. Lactation and Progression to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus After Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A prospective cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Dec 15;163(12):889-98.

New SWIFT 10-Year Follow up Study:

For the new SWIFT 10-Year Follow up Study visits, our research staff will begin contacting women who participated in the original SWIFT Study. This new study will answer important questions about risk factors for diabetes in women with a previous GDM pregnancy. The overall goal is to develop a more convenient and simpler test to determine a woman’s future risk of diabetes after pregnancy. Our research staff will begin reaching out to the SWIFT participants very soon with more details about the SWIFT Study 10-year Follow Up visits.

To our SWIFT Participants: Your dedication and commitment to the study has yielded important new findings about factors to lower diabetes risk in women with GDM and their children. These major advances to our understanding of type 2 diabetes after pregnancy would not have been possible without your important contribution to this research!

Your continued participation by enrolling in this new study is very important to us!

Thank you!

Dr. Erica P. Gunderson, PhD, MS, MPH
Principal Investigator, The SWIFT Study