Postnatal and future follow-up care – Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born, but there is a 50% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, possibly within the next 5 years. Some women who develop gestational diabetes may have had undiagnosed diabetes before pregnancy.
- For these women, diabetes does not go away after pregnancy and may be a lifelong condition.
- You should get a glucose tolerance test (GTT) 6 to 12 weeks after the birth and every year after that.
- You should continue a healthy and active lifestyle to prevent type 2 diabetes.
- It is important to tell your public health nurse, GP, GP practice nurse and other healthcare professionals about any complications that happened in pregnancy, labour and post-delivery.
Children of women who had gestational diabetes may be at risk of becoming overweight or obese during childhood. These children also have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Does gestational diabetes go away straight after birth?
5 Tips for Women with Gestational Diabetes –
Eat Healthy Foods Eat healthy foods from a meal plan made for a person with diabetes. A dietitian can help you create a healthy meal plan. Learn more about diabetes meal planning, A dietitian can also help you learn how to control your blood sugar while you are pregnant. To find a registered dietician near you, please visit The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website,
Exercise Regularly Exercise is another way to keep blood sugar under control. It helps to balance food intake. After checking with your doctor, you can exercise regularly during and after pregnancy. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week. This could be brisk walking, swimming, or actively playing with children. Learn more about physical activity during pregnancy » Monitor Blood Sugar Often Because pregnancy causes the body’s need for energy to change, blood sugar levels can change very quickly. Check your blood sugar often, as directed by your doctor. Take Insulin, If Needed Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must take insulin. If insulin is ordered by your doctor, take it as directed in order to help keep blood sugar under control. Get Tested for Diabetes after Pregnancy Get tested for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born, and then every 1 to 3 years.For most women with gestational diabetes, the diabetes goes away soon after delivery. When it does not go away, the diabetes is called type 2 diabetes. Even if the diabetes does go away after the baby is born, half of all women who had gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes later. It’s important for a woman who has had gestational diabetes to continue to exercise and eat a healthy diet after pregnancy to prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes. She should also remind her doctor to check her blood sugar every 1 to 3 years.
Women who had gestational diabetes or who develop prediabetes can also learn more about the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP), CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs. To find a CDC-recognized lifestyle change class near you, or join one of the online programs,
How long does it take for blood sugar to normalize after pregnancy?
Plan your next pregnancy – If you know that you want to get pregnant in the future, have a blood sugar test up to three months before becoming pregnant to make sure you have a normal blood sugar level. High blood sugar early in the pregnancy (within the first eight weeks) can affect the developing body and organ systems of the fetus.
It’s important to get your blood sugar level under control before you get pregnant. If you do get pregnant again, make sure your health care provider knows that you had gestational diabetes with your last pregnancy. If you had gestational diabetes with one pregnancy, your risk of getting it with another pregnancy is about 36 percent,
: Gestational Diabetes and Your Health After Your Baby is Born
How often does gestational diabetes stay after pregnancy?
Gestational Diabetes Care After Childbirth If you were diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you were probably relieved to learn that 90 percent of the time, gestational diabetes goes away after you give birth. But there are still some important issues and risks you need to be aware of.
- The first few days, weeks, and months after delivery can be a time when you are at risk for both emotional and physical problems.
- Being aware of the risks and knowing what you can do about them can help.
- Typically, your blood sugar will be checked several times before you are discharged from the hospital after giving birth, so that you can be sure your gestational diabetes has resolved.
“Medical follow-up for all women who have had gestational diabetes is very important. In 2 to 3 percent of women, diabetes continues after delivery. All women should have their glucose checked at between six and eight weeks,” advises Robert O. Atlas, MD, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
- Emotionally, the first several months after giving birth can be stressful for many new mothers.
- Depression after childbirth peaks at three to four months.
- We can’t say that, but studies indicate that the risks may be higher for these women,” warns Linda Chaudron, MD, a at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.
What Are the Risks After Gestational Diabetes? Some women will continue to have trouble with blood sugar after giving birth. There are also emotional issues and long-term concerns you need to know about:
Type 2 diabetes. This is the most common type of diabetes. After having gestational diabetes, you are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that all women with a history of gestational diabetes have a two-hour at six weeks and at least every three years after giving birth. Weight control. Women with gestational diabetes who fail to control their weight after giving birth have a higher risk of having gestational diabetes again in their next pregnancy and of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, according to a 2010 study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Depression. Mothers who have gestational diabetes may have a significantly higher risk of developing postpartum depression than mothers who did not have diabetes during pregnancy, Atlas says. Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is recommended for mothers who had gestational diabetes. But since producing breast milk requires the body to use energy and burn calories, some women with gestational diabetes may be more likely to have trouble regulating their blood sugar after giving birth. Most women will be able to breastfeed without difficulty.
What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risks After Gestational Diabetes? Knowing what the risks are is a start. Now you can take steps to stay safe after gestational diabetes:
Know the symptoms of postpartum depression. Some sadness and even anger are not unusual in the first few weeks after giving birth. If you continue to have problems sleeping, have overwhelming exhaustion, loss of appetite, constant anxiety, or any thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, you need help. Talk to your doctor — postpartum depression is treatable. Continue all your follow-up medical care. Remember you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Make sure to follow through with all recommended doctor visits and blood tests. Stick to a diet and exercise program. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, following a diet high in fruits, grains, and vegetables, and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day can lower your risk for future health problems. Breastfeed your baby. If you are getting enough calories and eating wisely, breastfeeding is safe for you. There is some evidence that breastfeeding can lower your baby’s chance of being overweight as an adult. Breastfeeding can also help you lose weight after your pregnancy, and may lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, although more research is needed to confirm this.
The first days, weeks, and months after gestational diabetes are a time when you are at some risk for physical and emotional problems, but they are also the time when you can start to establish the good habits that will help you stay healthy in the future.
Does gestational diabetes go away after 36 weeks?
Possible long-term effects of gestational diabetes – Although gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is delivered, it can lead to diabetes in the future. If you have gestational diabetes, you and your baby will both be at risk for diabetes in the future.
- Because of that risk, you and your baby will have to be tested regularly.
- You will need to have a post-partum blood sugar test between six and 12 weeks after delivery.
- If that test is normal, you should be screened every three years.
- Your child should be checked for diabetes and monitored for risk factors of diabetes, such as obesity.
You should let your child’s doctor know that you had gestational diabetes so the doctor will know to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of diabetes in the future.
Why do I have gestational diabetes when I’m healthy?
Pregnant Ladies, Take Note: You Can Be Healthy and Fit and Still Get Gestational Diabetes The one-hour glucose test is something every woman is asked to take. For the test, you chug a sugary drink, wait an hour, have your blood drawn, and then go about your day.
Is designed to check for gestational diabetes, a form of high blood sugar that affects pregnant women, and most women don’t hear or think about it again. That’s how I was, until I was told that I seriously flunked mine—and I didn’t take the news well. In fact, I’m pretty sure I blurted out something like, “How is that possible?” After all, the typical gestational diabetes patient is someone who has gained a lot of weight during their pregnancy and doesn’t exercise often.
(Two of the major recommendations for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are to follow a healthy diet and exercise more.) At seven months pregnant, I haven’t gained much weight, I eat healthy, and I run four miles, five days a week. My doctor also told me in the same visit that my and she wants to keep a close eye on it.
WTF is going on?! According to the (CDC) anywhere from one in 50 to one in 20 pregnant women has gestational diabetes, so this is a fairly common issue. I just didn’t think it would be my issue. But, apparently, you can develop gestational diabetes and be an otherwise healthy person. Like type 2 diabetes, “gestational diabetes is linked to excess weight gain and lack of exercise,” Anita Avery, M.D., an ob/gyn at Michigan State University, tells SELF.
“However, plenty of otherwise healthy women who are in good shape can still develop gestational diabetes.” That’s why women are screened with a blood test, rather than just those who are thought to have a chance of having gestational diabetes based on their weight or fitness levels, she explains.
Mark B. Landon, M.D., chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, agrees. “The prototype gestational diabetic woman is a woman with obesity and perhaps a family history of diabetes in which pregnancy unmasks a diabetic state for the first time,” he tells SELF.
“However, there is a subset of women who are not obese and may lead a very healthy lifestyle yet may develop this during pregnancy. The metabolic profiles in these women can be considerably different.” Lean women who develop gestational diabetes may or may not have a family history of the disease but they still develop a defect in how their bodies produce insulin, Landon explains.
For obese women, the primary problem is insulin resistance,” he says. “For lean women, it may involve the secretion of insulin and how quickly it’s released into the blood stream in response to a meal.” But, regardless of how a woman develops gestational diabetes, the are still the same for the mother and baby.
: Pregnant Ladies, Take Note: You Can Be Healthy and Fit and Still Get Gestational Diabetes
What happens if gestational diabetes doesn’t go away?
Ongoing effects – If gestational diabetes is not well managed, there’s greater risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth for both mother and baby, including high blood pressure, premature birth, having a large baby, or needing a caesarean section.
- With good pregnancy care, healthy eating, physical activity and the use of medications such as insulin or metformin (which lowers blood glucose levels) where needed, many of these problems can be avoided.
- A blood test six to twelve weeks after childbirth can confirm if the diabetes has gone away.
- After this it can be tempting to forget about the gestational diabetes altogether.
Unfortunately, however, we know this is not necessarily the end of the diabetes journey. In recent years, we’ve realised women with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing health problems later in life. Pregnancy is a special kind of “metabolic test”.
- It unmasks potential problems of resistance to insulin action, or inadequate insulin production which were hidden before pregnancy.
- The risk of type 2 diabetes in women who have had gestational diabetes is up to seven times that of women who haven’t.
- Compared to women without gestational diabetes, the risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease is nearly tripled.
Research also suggests children of gestational diabetes pregnancies have higher risk of being overweight and having diabetes as they grow up. In some studies, diabetes was increased up to four times. As more women are having gestational diabetes, this could be one contributor to escalating rates of diabetes and obesity, especially in young people.
Is it common to get diabetes after pregnancy?
Interpretation – In this large, population-based study, we found that diabetes developed within 9 years after the index pregnancy in 18.9% of women with previous gestational diabetes; this rate was much higher than the rate among women without gestational diabetes (2.0%).
This cumulative incidence is also higher than what has been reported for certain populations followed for a similar period 8 but lower than for other populations known to have high rates of diabetes.25–27 For example, these observations are similar to the rate of 17% noted among white Australian women 28 and the rate of 22% observed over 10 years in a small study involving Nova Scotian women.29 Although others found that the rate increased markedly until 5 years post partum and plateaued at 10 years, 9 the cumulative incidence rate in our study showed no signs of a plateau.
The rate of development of diabetes was rapid in the first 9 months post partum and remained relatively constant thereafter. More specifically, diabetes had been diagnosed in 3.7% of the women by 9 months. These women probably had previously undiagnosed type 2 diabetes that was discovered through screening for gestational diabetes in pregnancy.
A study in Spain found a similar rate of diabetes immediately post partum (5.4% by 6 months).30 In that study, there was an association between postpartum glucose intolerance and other cardiovascular risk factors such as triglyceride levels, blood pressure, obesity and regional distribution of body fat, which underscores the potential risk that these women carry for cardiovascular disease.
Another study revealed that women with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in pregnancy had worse perinatal outcomes than women known to have type 2 diabetes, 31 most likely because of lack of proper care before the diagnosis. For this reason it is imperative to identify this high-risk group as early in the pregnancy as possible, and ideally before pregnancy.
The most significant risk factor for the development of diabetes was previous gestational diabetes. This finding is reasonable, given that the presence of gestational diabetes identifies women with a defect in β-cell function, in whom insulin secretion does not increase adequately in response to the insulin-resistant state of pregnancy.
The same defect in β-cell function predisposes some women to overt diabetes in the ensuing years.32 We found that the latest subcohort of women with gestational diabetes (delivery during 1999–2001) had a higher rate of development of diabetes than those of the earliest subcohort (delivery during 1995 or 1996).
- Women with gestational diabetes in the latest subcohort reached a cumulative incidence rate of 16% by 4.66 years, whereas it took the earliest subcohort 9 years to reach a similar incidence rate.
- This result implies that the risk of development of diabetes among those with a history of gestational diabetes is rising over time.
A similar phenomenon was seen in a study performed in Denmark, where the incidence of diabetes was higher in a recent cohort (delivery during 1987–1996) than in an earlier one (delivery during 1978–1985).33 The authors speculated that this shift related to the significantly higher prepregnancy body mass index in the more recent group.
- However, the explanation for the finding in our cohort is unclear and merits further study.
- In accordance with other studies from the United States, 34, 35 we found that the incidence of gestational diabetes is increasing in Ontario.
- Women were more likely to have gestational diabetes and were more likely to have a subsequent diagnosis of diabetes if they had a lower income and lived in an urban setting.
This may reflect the large South and East Asian and black populations living in urban areas, who have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Women were less likely to receive a diagnosis of gestational diabetes if they had suboptimal care (i.e., 10 or fewer visits to a physician in the 2 years before delivery) and if they did not have a physician providing usual care, probably because these situations indicate less opportunity to make the diagnosis.
The main strength of our study lies in the fact that it was a large population-based study involving more than 21 000 women with gestational diabetes, with up to 9 years of follow-up. Unlike other studies, it covered a large, well-defined geographic region with a population of about 13 million, which allowed us to make a more robust assessment of the risk of type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes than has been possible in previous studies.
The validated Ontario Diabetes Database, with its high sensitivity and specificity, provides confidence that these data accurately reflect the rate of development of clinical diabetes after a diagnosis of gestational diabetes. In addition, our attrition rate was much lower than that noted in many of the other studies that have attempted to follow women with gestational diabetes.4–6 Some important limitations of our study include our inability to assess the effect of ethnicity, obesity and level of fasting glucose during pregnancy, risk factors that are clearly associated with the development of diabetes but that are unavailable for population-based administrative data.
- If we had had access to these data, the independent risk related to gestational diabetes might have been less striking.
- In addition, we might have underestimated the true incidence of diabetes because some women moved out of the province; however, outmigration was a censoring variable in the survival models, so its impact should be small.
Given the very large sample, some of the hazard ratios are of uncertain clinical significance, even though statistical significance was achieved (e.g., the increased risk of diabetes with higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score). Our study has important implications.
Although population-based screening for diabetes has been rejected in many jurisdictions as inefficient, targeted screening in high-risk populations has been widely accepted. The risk level for women with prior gestational diabetes as defined by this study suggests that these women may benefit from both preventive interventions and regular screening.
In addition, more robust estimates of risk may allow policy-makers to evaluate more accurately the cost and potential impact of such programs. @@ See related commentary by Simmons, page 215
Does breastfeeding lower blood sugar?
Benefits for You and Your Baby – For your little one, it’s well-known that babies who are breastfed (regardless of whether Mom has diabetes ) tend to have fewer health problems, including respiratory and ear infections, digestive trouble, and asthma,
- They might also be less likely to develop type 1 or type 2 diabetes,
- You may also get some health perks.
- If you had gestational diabetes (you developed diabetes for the first time while pregnant ), chances are your high blood sugar levels will go back to normal shortly after you give birth.
- But you’ll still be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes for the rest of your life.
Breastfeeding will help your blood sugar fall right away, which might lower your chances of getting diabetes later on. Whether you had gestational diabetes, or you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, breastfeeding might help you lose the extra pounds you put on during pregnancy, which is another bonus for your health.
Does gestational diabetes affect breastfeeding?
Abstract – Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) increases the future risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). There is now a growing evidence that breastfeeding has short- and long-term health benefits for mothers with GDM. Mothers with GDM who breastfeed have improved lipid and glucose metabolic profiles for the first 3 months after birth. However, women with GDM are less likely to breastfeed and, if they do, breastfeeding is usually continued for a shorter duration compared with women without GDM. One long-term prospective study followed women with GDM from delivery for up to 19 years postpartum, and found that breastfeeding for ≥3 months reduced the risk of T2DM and delayed the development of T2DM by a further 10 years compared with breastfeeding for <3 months. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying the protective effects of breastfeeding are still unknown, even though it is important to gain a full understanding of the pathways involved in these effects. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the recent developments in the field of GDM and breastfeeding. We reviewed data from animal experiments and human studies. We also provide insight into the molecular pathways and describe promising topics for future research. Keywords: Breastfeeding, Gestational diabetes mellitus, Glucose homeostasis, Type 2 diabetes mellitus
What weeks is gestational diabetes hardest to control?
Between 32 – 36 weeks are what we know to be the toughest time for gestational diabetes. It’s at around this point that we typically see insulin resistance worsen. You think you have your gestational diabetes diet sussed out and you can literally wake and eat the same breakfast you’ve been tolerating well for weeks on end and get crazy blood sugar levels?! What the heck is going on and what did you do wrong??? Firstly, you’ve done NOTHING wrong! This is to be expected and is completely normal and typical with gestational diabetes. To understand what’s going on, we need to understand a bit about gestational diabetes and how it works
Does gestational diabetes get better after 37 weeks?
What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is a condition in which there’s too much sugar in the blood. When you eat, your body breaks down sugar and starches from food into glucose to use for energy. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that helps your body keep the right amount of glucose in your blood.
- When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or it can’t use insulin properly, so you end up with too much sugar in your blood.
- This can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.
- Pregnant people are usually tested for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Most of the time it can be controlled and treated during pregnancy. If it’s not treated, gestational diabetes can cause problems for you and your baby. It usually goes away after your baby’s born. Once you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a higher risk of being diagnosed with diabetes later in life.
- Are older than 25.
- Are overweight or obese and not physically active,
- Have had gestational diabetes or a baby with macrosomia in a past pregnancy.
- Have high blood pressure or you’ve had heart disease.
- Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (also called polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS). This is a hormone problem that can affect reproductive and overall health.
- Have prediabetes. This means your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.
- Have a parent, brother or sister who has diabetes.
- Are a member of a racial or ethnic group that has a higher prevalence of diabetes that isn’t entirely explained by race or ethnicity, such as Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Hispanic/Latino or Pacific Islander
Racism and risk of gestational diabetes Being a person of color is not a cause for having gestational diabetes. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why people in these groups are more likely to have gestational diabetes, but they have noticed some patterns in studies about gestational diabetes.
For example, many people of color experience chronic stress and lack access to fresh and healthy food. These factors are known as social determinants of health. They are the conditions in which you are born, grow, work, and live. In many cases, the social determinants of health are related to racism. Racism and unequal living conditions affect health and well-being and increases the risk of pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes.
Racism refers to the false belief that certain groups of people are born with qualities that make them better than other groups of people. Racism isn’t limited to personal attacks such as ethnic slurs, bullying, or physical assault. In a racist culture, one group of people has more power than other groups.
- Have better education and job opportunities
- Live in safer environmental conditions
- Be shown in a positive light by media, such as television shows, movies, and news programs.
- Be treated with respect by law enforcement
- Have better access to health care
In contrast, people from racial or ethnic minority groups who live in a racist culture are more likely to:
- Experience chronic stress
- Live in an unsafe neighborhood
- Live in areas that have higher amounts of environmental toxins, such as air, water, and soil pollution
- Go to a low-performing school
- Have limited access to healthy foods
- Have little or no access to health insurance and quality medical care
- Have less access to well-paying jobs
March of Dimes recognizes that racism and its effects are factors in the health disparities in pregnancy outcomes and babies’ health. We must work together to bring fair, just and full access to health care for all moms and babies. Can gestational diabetes increase your risk for problems during pregnancy? Yes.
- Macrosomia, This means your baby weighs more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams) at birth. Babies who weigh this much are more likely to be hurt during labor and birth, and can cause damage to his or her mother during delivery.
- Shoulder dystocia or other birth injuries (also called birth trauma). Complications for birthing parents caused by shoulder dystocia include postpartum hemorrhage (heavy bleeding). For babies, the most common injuries are fractures to the collarbone and arm and damage to the brachial plexus nerves. These nerves go from the spinal cord in the neck down the arm. They provide feeling and movement in the shoulder, arm and hand.
- High blood pressure and preeclampsia, High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is when the force of blood against the walls of the blood vessels is too high. It can stress your heart and cause problems during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is when a pregnant person has high blood pressure and signs that some of their organs, such as the kidneys and liver, may not be working properly.
- Perinatal depression, This is depression that happens during pregnancy or in the first year after having a baby (also called postpartum depression ). Depression is a medical condition that causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in things you like to do. It can affect how you think, feel, and act and can interfere with your daily life.
- Preterm birth, This is birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Most women who have gestational diabetes have a full-term pregnancy that lasts between 39 and 40 weeks. However, if there are complications, your health care provider may need to induce labor before your due date. This means your provider will give you medicine or break your water (amniotic sac) to make your labor begin.
- Stillbirth, This is the death of a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Cesarean birth (also called c-section). This is surgery in which your baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus. You may need to have a c-section if you have complications during pregnancy, or if your baby is very large (also known as macrosomia). Most people who have gestational diabetes can have a vaginal birth. But they’re more likely to have a c-section than people who don’t have gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes also can cause health complications for your baby after birth, including:
- Breathing problems, including respiratory distress syndrome. This can happen when babies don’t have enough surfactant in their lungs. Surfactant is a protein that keeps the small air sacs in the lungs from collapsing.
- Jaundice. This is a medical condition in which the baby’s liver isn’t fully developed or isn’t working well. A jaundiced baby’s eyes and skin look yellow.
- Low blood sugar (also called hypoglycemia)
- Obesity later in life
- Diabetes later in life
How do you know if you have gestational diabetes? Your health care provider tests you for gestational diabetes with a prenatal test called a glucose tolerance test. If your provider thinks you’re at risk, you may get the test earlier. If the glucose screening test comes back positive, you’ll have another test called a glucose tolerance test.
After this test, your doctor will be able to tell whether you have gestational diabetes. How is gestational diabetes treated? If you have gestational diabetes, your prenatal care provider will want to see you more often at prenatal care checkups so they can monitor you and your baby closely to help prevent problems.
You’ll probably have tests to make sure you and your baby are doing well. These include a nonstress test and a biophysical profile. The nonstress test checks your baby’s heart rate. The biophysical profile is a nonstress test with an ultrasound, Your provider also may ask you to do kick counts (also called fetal movement counts).
- Every day, time how long it takes for your baby to move 10 times. If it takes longer than 2 hours, tell your provider.
- See how many movements you feel in 1 hour. Do this 3 times each week. If the number changes, tell your provider.
If you have gestational diabetes, your provider tells you how often to check your blood sugar, what your levels should be and how to manage them during pregnancy. Blood sugar is affected by pregnancy, what you eat and drink, and how much physical activity you get.
You may need to eat differently and be more active. You also may need to take insulin shots or other medicines. Treatment for gestational diabetes can help reduce your risk for pregnancy complications. Your provider begins treatment with monitoring your blood sugar levels, healthy eating, and physical activity.
If this doesn’t do enough to control your blood sugar, you may need medicine. Insulin is the most common medicine for gestational diabetes. It’s safe to take during pregnancy. Here’s what you can do to help manage gestational diabetes:
- Go to all your prenatal care checkups, even if you’re feeling fine.
- Follow your provider’s directions about how often to check your blood sugar. Your provider shows you how to check your blood sugar on your own. They tell you how often to check it and what to do if it’s too high. Keep a log that includes your blood sugar level every time you check it. Share it with your provider at each checkup. Most parents can check their blood sugar four times each day: once after fasting (first thing in the morning before you’ve eaten) and again after each meal.
- Eat healthy foods. Talk to your provider about the right kinds of foods to eat to help control your blood sugar.
- Do something active every day. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least 5 days each week. Talk to your provider about activities that are safe during pregnancy, like walking.
- If you take medicine for diabetes, take it exactly as your provider tells you to. If you take insulin, your provider teaches you how to give yourself insulin shots. Tell your provider about any medicine you take, even if it’s medicine for other health conditions. Some medicines can be harmful during pregnancy, so your provider may need to change them to ones that are safer for you and your baby. Don’t start or stop taking any medicine during pregnancy without talking to your provider first.
- Check your weight gain during pregnancy. Gaining too much weight or gaining weight too fast can make it harder to manage your blood sugar. Talk to your provider about the right amount of weight to gain during pregnancy,
If you have gestational diabetes, how can you help prevent getting diabetes later in life? For most people, gestational diabetes goes away after giving birth. But having it makes you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Type 2 diabetes is the most common kind of diabetes. Here’s what you can do to help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy:
- Get tested for diabetes 4 to 12 weeks after your baby is born. If the test is normal, get tested again every 1 to 3 years.
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
- Talk to your provider about medicine that may help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Last reviewed: March 2022
How do you feel after eating sugar with gestational diabetes?
5. Unusually strong cravings for sweet foods and drinks – While big meals may leave you feeling sick, sugary snacks can have the opposite effect. Those with diabetes can have what seems to be a relentless appetite for sweets. Why does this happen? Diabetes leads to dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar as the body loses much of its ability to self-regulate levels.
Should you stop eating sugar if you have gestational diabetes?
Foods to Eat With Gestational Diabetes – A healthy diet for any health condition can include all foods with a few exceptions. If you have gestational diabetes, you should avoid foods or drinks with sugar because your blood sugars are already elevated.
Is gestational diabetes more common with a girl?
With commenary by Baiju Shah, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine, University of Toronto Women who develop gestational diabetes mellitus—diabetes that occurs during pregnancy—are at greater risk of gestational diabetes in their next pregnancy. Having gestatational diabetes also puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is caused by a defect in pancreatic β -cells, reducing their ability to produce enough insulin to compensate for insulin resistance, which typically occurs in the second half of a woman’s pregnancy. Insulin resistance occurs in all pregnant women, but those whose bodies can’t produce enough insulin will develop GDM.
The laregescale study of more than 640,000 pregnancies, found that women carrying a boy had a slightly increased risk of GDM. “We hypothesize that pregnancy with a boy leads to worse pregnancy-associated metabolic changes than pregnancy with a girl—this is why we see a higher rate of GDM in women carrying a boy,” says the study’s lead author, Baiju Shah, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine, University of Toronto.
“Male fetuses seem to impact the mother’s metabolism—specifically, her pancreatic β-cells’ ability to produce insulin—more than female fetuses do,” he says. “But how the fetus causes this impact on the mother’s metabolism is not understood.” Interestingly, the study found that if a woman had GDM in her first pregnancy, having a boy had no effect on her risk of having GDM in subsequent pregnancies.
- That’s probably because women with GDM in their first pregnancy are at such a high risk of having GDM again in the second pregnancy—around 40 percent—that the effect of the baby’s gender doesn’t make much difference, says Dr. Shah.
- On the other hand, women who had GDM in their first pregnancy had a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes post pregnancy if they had a girl.
This suggests that these women likely have overall poorer metabolic functions to begin with since they developed GDM despite not carrying the “riskier” boy. This underlying risk puts them at increased risk of type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy. The study adds to the literature about risk of gestational diabetes in women.
- I think it’s worthwhile for women and their obstetricians to recognize that although we often worry about how the mother’s health and behaviors can impact the baby, we perhaps need to start thinking about how the baby can affect the mother’s health,” says Dr. Shah.
- Women carrying boys should be aware of their increased risk of GDM.
And women who had GDM and carried a girl through pregnancy may want to be more vigilant post-delivery and focus more on reducing their risks of type 2 diabetes through eating healthy, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. Notes: This article was originally published June 29, 2015 and most recently updated February 15, 2017, Laurie Tarkan is an award-winning health journalist who writes for The New York Times, national health, women’s and parenting magazines, and consumer health websites. She wrote Peak Performance, a health@work blog for CBSNews.com. Tarkan is the three-time recipient of the National Health Information Awards, and won the Rose Kushner Award for Writing Achievement in the Field of Breast Cancer.
Will my child get diabetes if I had gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes and type 1 diabetes in children Children whose moms had gestational diabetes during pregnancy could be at increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes according to a funded by Diabetes Canada and published in the April 2019 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
- Researchers have long known that children whose mothers or fathers have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop the disease themselves.
- In this study, Dr.
- Aberi Dasgupta and her team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal wanted to find out if having a mother who had gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy) also increases a child’s risk of developing diabetes later in life.
The McGill team looked at the health records of 73,180 mothers in Quebec who had given birth to a child between 1990 and 2012. Half of the mothers had gestational diabetes during their pregnancy; half did not. The researchers found that a child or teen whose mother had gestational diabetes was nearly twice as likely to develop type 1 diabetes before the age of 22 compared to those whose mothers did not have gestational diabetes.
- This study is important, as we try to understand risk factors for type 1 diabetes,” says Dr.
- Jan Hux, president and CEO of Diabetes Canada.
- She adds that this research may encourage health-care providers to promptly test children for type 1 diabetes if they show typical symptoms (such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, or weight loss) and their mothers had gestational diabetes.
Earlier diagnosis of type 1 diabetes may reduce the risk of children developing dangerous conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes that can occur when the body starts running out of insulin. “Diabetes Canada looks forward to improving the lives and outcomes of children through greater research in this area,” says Hux.
When does gestational diabetes peak?
Pathophysiology of GDM – Pregnancy is a diabetogenic state characterised by hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance. This progressive change in the maternal metabolism is due to the body’s effort to provide adequate nutrition for the growing foetus. In the early stages of pregnancy maternal hormones promote the release of insulin coupled with increased peripheral utilisation with the end result of a lower maternal blood sugar ( 5 ).
Why my sugar level is high after taking insulin during pregnancy?
What causes diabetes during pregnancy? – Some women have diabetes before they get pregnant. This is called pregestational diabetes. Other women may get a type of diabetes that only happens in pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Pregnancy can change how a woman’s body uses glucose.
This can make diabetes worse, or lead to gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, an organ called the placenta gives a growing baby nutrients and oxygen. The placenta also makes hormones. In late pregnancy, the hormones estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen can block insulin. When insulin is blocked, it’s called insulin resistance.
Glucose can’t go into the body’s cells. The glucose stays in the blood and makes the blood sugar levels go up.
How long does it take to normalize glucose levels?
People Without Diabetes – If you do not have diabetes, your body’s insulin will naturally bring down your blood sugar. It is expected that most people will see their glucose levels return to normal within two hours after eating.3, but it is normal for insulin to take two hours to complete its cycle and successfully move surplus sugar out of your bloodstream.
How long does it take to normalize blood sugar?
Yes, it’s possible to lower your blood sugar quickly! Not everyone’s blood sugar (glucose) levels will tumble in 3 days, but scientific evidence strongly points to the use of a healthy lifestyle (good food, daily exercise, and a positive mindset) can help you reverse diabetes in as quickly as two to three weeks.
Will I get type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes?
Related Health Problems – Having gestational diabetes can increase your risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy, It can also increase your risk of having a large baby that needs to be delivered by cesarean section (C-section). If you have gestational diabetes, your baby is at higher risk of:
Being very large (9 pounds or more), which can make delivery more difficult Being born early, which can cause breathing and other problems Having low blood sugar Developing type 2 diabetes later in life
Your blood sugar levels will usually return to normal after your baby is born. However, about 50% of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. You can lower your risk by reaching a healthy body weight after delivery. Visit your doctor to have your blood sugar tested 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born and then every 1 to 3 years to make sure your levels are on target.