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

Encourage Kids to Play Outdoors! posted on Jul 29

Encourage Kids to Play Outdoors!

It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day activities like work, housecleaning and laundry and forget to make time for the things that are much more important to us– like spending quality time with our children. Does this sound familiar? If so, sometimes it’s fun   …Continue Reading Encourage Kids to Play Outdoors!

My Journey Back to Watermelon posted on Jul 25

My Journey Back to Watermelon

The other night, my parents took me and my fiancé* out to eat. My mom likes to keep the conversation light, and as usual, asked questions like “what was your favorite memory as a kid?” and “what would you rather have, a beach house or   …Continue Reading My Journey Back to Watermelon

Kids with Asthma Can Be Active in Summer! posted on Jul 24

Summer in New England is a brief but glorious time when many families experience a change in pace as schools let out and activities slow. Weeks that were once packed with classes, homework and practice are suddenly open for new activities. Whether these include summer   …Continue Reading Kids with Asthma Can Be Active in Summer!