Gestational Diabetes – Risks for Moms after Pregnancy

After your baby is born it is going to be a relief to not have to take insulin injections
anymore or to watch every single thing you put in your mouth. But not so fast, you still
need to be careful and mindful of the increased risks that you now face as a mom who has
had gestational diabetes. Even though your health choices do not directly affect your
baby as they did when you were pregnant (unless you are nursing), your health is still just
as important to take care of for the sake of your baby.

The biggest risk for moms who have had gestational diabetes is a significantly increased
chance of contracting type 2 diabetes down the road. It is highly advisable to have a
blood screening done six months after the birth of your baby to ensure glucose levels are
still being managed properly and that the pancreas is producing enough insulin. After the
initial six month screening, an annual test should be conducting to watch for diabetes or a
condition known as pre-diabetes.

Women who have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy should consult with
their doctor prior to becoming pregnant again. A blood test can be ordered to ensure
blood glucose levels are in the normal range which is important in the crucial first weeks
of pregnancy.

After giving birth, breastfeeding is the best thing for you and your baby. In addition to
the myriad of other benefits that will be derived from breastfeeding it can reduce the
chances of your baby developing diabetes later in life.

Taking good care yourself while pregnant can help you reduce the risks associated with
diabetes in pregnancy. Continue to eat sensibly and exercise regularly to maintain a
healthy body weight – this is crucial to preventing and managing diabetes.