Post Content

Lani blog
Lani Telian, Department of Public Health

 

 

People are quick to give advice to expectant mothers – cut down on caffeine, avoid alcohol, take prenatal vitamins – yet there’s one topic that is often missing from the conversation.  Gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy, can cause high blood sugar levels that can threaten the health of your unborn baby.  According to the American Diabetes Association, this condition affects about 135,000 pregnant women in the U.S. each year.

Gestational diabetes is more likely to occur in women who: 

  • are older than 25 years
  • are overweight
  • had gestational diabetes before
  • had a very large baby (over 9 pounds)
  • have a family history of diabetes
  • are Native American, Asian, Hispanic, African American, or Pacific Islander
  • have polycystic ovary syndrome

But there's good news.  You can manage gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and, if necessary, taking medication.  Taking good care of yourself can help ensure a healthy pregnancy for you and a healthy start for your baby.

Women with a history of gestational diabetes have a much higher risk of developing diabetes during the 5 to 10 years after they deliver.  If you had gestational diabetes, it is important to be tested 6 to 12 weeks after the baby is born, and at least every 3 years after that.  Women may be able to prevent getting gestational or type 2 diabetes in the future by reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, and getting regular physical activity.  

Mothers aren’t the only ones affected by this condition.  Children of women with a history of gestational diabetes are at greater risk for obesity, which puts them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.  Women with a history of gestational diabetes can help their entire family stay at a healthy weight by providing healthy meals and snacks, and encouraging their families to be physically active.  

Remember, if you had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, you have a lifelong risk for getting diabetes.  Be sure to talk to your doctor about preventing diabetes, getting tested, and how you and your child can have a healthy lifestyle.  To learn more about eating better and moving more check out Mass in Motion; visit the Tips for Parents page. 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule posted on Apr 23

Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule

Most parents vaccinate their children according to CDC’s recommended immunization schedule, protecting them from 14 potentially serious diseases before their second birthday. We are lucky in Massachusetts that we have high vaccination coverage for the majority of recommended vaccines. In fact, for children 19-35 months of   …Continue Reading Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule

Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018 posted on Apr 20

Rates of flu-like illness rose slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. There is still flu vaccine available if you have not gotten a flu shot. Call your healthcare provider or visit https://vaccinefinder.org which offers listings for local boards of health   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018

Help Your Teen Recognize and Address Sexual Harassment at Work posted on Apr 19

Help Your Teen Recognize and Address Sexual Harassment at Work

The topic of sexual harassment has received increased visibility in recent months. The #metoo and #timesup movements have inspired many people of all ages to speak about their experiences of sexual violence on social media. Some who have read and shared these stories remember a time in   …Continue Reading Help Your Teen Recognize and Address Sexual Harassment at Work