While your blood glucose levels usually return to normal after birth, gestational diabetes puts you at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce that risk.
Check your blood glucose levels
The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) will show whether your ability to process sugar has returned to normal (you should have the first one six weeks after delivery). Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be ‘silent’, so you should take screening tests every 2-3 years, before another pregnancy, or if you’re feeling unwell.
If weight is an issue, work towards a healthy one
This isn’t about achieving the perfect body, it’s about eating well and building physical activity into your life on a regular basis. Implementing a healthy lifestyle now is important so you can be at your best to look after your child. Consult your GP or a dietitian for guidance.
Eat a nutritious diet
After giving birth try to make healthy food choices. Try to limit saturated fats, choose lean and skinless meats, and low fat dairy foods. Limit processed and fried foods, eat plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits, wholegrain breads and cereals. If you are not sure what diet will work best for you, speak to your GP or a dietitian for guidance.
Live an active life
We could all benefit from being more active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (e.g. a brisk walk or light jog) on most days of the week. You should discuss your physical activity plans with your GP.
Read up on dealing with diabetes
How to lower your riskRead more
Exercise is a powerful and affordable tool.Read more