Wednesday, November 7, 2018 2:09 PM

Gestational Diabetes: What You Need to Know

November marks National Diabetes Month, and this year’s focus is on promoting health after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. In most cases, gestational diabetes goes away after the baby is born.

Even if the diabetes goes away, you still have a greater chance of getting diabetes later in your lifetime. Your child from that pregnancy is also at future risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all women who had gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes.

Am I at risk for getting gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes affects between 2 – 10% of pregnancies each year. There are some factors that may increase your risk, including:
  • A family history of diabetes
  • High blood sugar levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight before getting pregnant
  • Being African America, Hispanic, Asian or Native American
  • Previously having gestational diabetes

What should I do if I’ve had gestational diabetes?

If you’ve had gestational diabetes, make sure to follow these four steps:
  • Get tested for type 2 diabetes within 12 weeks after your baby is born. If the test is normal, you should still get tested every three years.
  • Talk with your doctor if you plan to become pregnant again in the future.
  • Tell your child’s doctor if you had gestational diabetes.
  • Keep up healthy habits for a lifetime to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

Take charge of your health

To learn more about gestational diabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes, download this infographic provided by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.