Does having gestational diabetes put me at higher risk for diabetes mellitus in the future?

          Yes. About one third to one half of women who had gestational diabetes mellitus will develop it again in later pregnancy. And up to 50 percent of women with gestational diabetes mellitus will develop diabetes mellitus at some point in future.

Risk Factors

  • You're obese. (Your risk is about 50 to 75 percent if you're obese and less than 25 percent if you are at normal weight.)
  • You had very high blood glucose levels during pregnancy (especially if you needed medication).
  • Your diabetes mellitus was diagnosed early in the pregnancy.
  • The results of your postpartum glucose test were borderline (relatively high, but not high enough to classify it as a diabetes mellitus)

What can I do to minimize my risk of developing diabetes in the future?

Keeping your body weight down, taking healthy food choices, and exercising regularly can help you ward off the disease.

In addition, breastfeeding your baby may provide you with some protection.

        There's research suggesting an association between breastfeeding and increased postpartum weight loss, as well as a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.

What can I do to minimize related risks for my child through infancy and beyond?

Do your best to keep your blood sugar levels in check during pregnancy. After birth, nurse your baby. There is evidence that breastfeeding has positive effect on glucose metabolism and may help prevent childhood obesity and decrease your child's risk of diabetes mellitus, among other things.
And because your child is at higher risk for childhood and adult obesity – as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus – it's particularly important that you help him to eat a healthy diet, maintain a normal body weight, and stay physically active.
Finally, be sure that your child's healthcare practitioner knows that you had diabetes mellitus during pregnancy.

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