After the baby is born, gestational diabetes usually disappears. A special blood glucose test (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) (OGTT) is performed six weeks after delivery to ensure that blood glucose levels have returned to normal. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and should be tested for diabetes at least every 2 – 3 years.
Reducing the Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
To reduce your risk or delay the development of type 2 diabetes, keep in mind the following important points.
- Maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Balancing food intake with activity levels is the best way to maintain or reduce any excess body weight.
- Eat healthily. Limit saturated fat. Choose lean meat, skinless chicken and low fat dairy foods. Limit processed and fried foods. Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits, wholegrain breads and cereals.
- Be physically active. Aim to include at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days. You should discuss your physical activity plans with your doctor prior to starting any exercise regime.
- Check blood glucose levels. It is important to have your blood glucose tested every 1-2 years. Discuss this with your doctor.
Diabetes Australia and the Australian Diabetes Society have launched a booklet to assist women who have had gestational diabetes, and their families to understand how to take steps to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
To download this resource just follow the link below.
Life after gestational diabetes