Risks for the future
There is a chance that diabetes could return with another pregnancy, which is why you will be tested for gestational diabetes earlier in future pregnancies. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight reduces the chance of developing gestational diabetes in a future pregnancy, but also reduces all maternal complications such as miscarriage.
It is also more likely that you will develop type 2 diabetes as you get older. As such, it is advisable to have your blood glucose levels checked once a year, for life, to make sure that type 2 diabetes has not developed.
To try to avoid developing diabetes in the future
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Take regular exercise
- Keep your weight down to the ideal weight for your height
Following the advice provided within this module on diet and exercise will help with this even after your pregnancy, and your postnatal team should be able to offer advice that is suitable for you. As a new mother, the NHS website can provide also advice for whatever level of exercise you are able to do.
Breastfeeding alone is recommended for your baby’s first six months, where possible. Breast milk provides the perfect balance of nutrients for your baby and helps develop their immune system and protect them from disease. Alongside this, breastfeeding can improve your own health, helping you lose weight after birth and thus helping to reduce your chance of diabetes.