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