If you’re pregnant and have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes you are not alone. In fact, the prevalence of both preexisting and gestational diabetes in the United States is on the rise.
This year’s National Diabetes Awareness Month is focused on promoting health after gestational diabetes. Women and their children who’ve had gestational diabetes are at an increased lifelong risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or it resists insulin.
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and goes away for most after the baby is born. If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it means you and your baby’s blood sugar levels are too high. However, by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels throughout your pregnancy you can still have a happy and healthy baby.
Diabetes, pregnancy and your primary care doctor
Women with gestational diabetes can have successful pregnancies and healthy babies with proper medical care and monitoring. If you’ve kept regular well woman appointments throughout the years you can benefit from having the same trusted primary care doctor during your pregnancy as well.
It’s essential to have someone who understands your medical history who can provide individualized obstetric care during this unique time in your life, especially if you’re managing pregnancy with diabetes.
Reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes
Women who’ve had gestational diabetes are three to seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years. Their children also carry a heightened risk for both obesity and type 2 diabetes. The good news is that you can decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Here are a few easy ways you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes:
- Choose 100 percent whole grains instead of processed white and enriched products
- Eat a rainbow of assorted fruits and leafy green vegetables
- Reach for more lean meats and skinless poultry than red meats
- Drink plenty of water and avoid juices or sports drinks
- Get three to five hours of moderate exercise each week
The skilled family medicine doctors at Pomona Valley Health Centers have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of pregnancy with diabetes and we want to help you have a healthy, happy baby. Call us at 909-630-7829 to schedule an appointment.