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After Pregnancy - Staying healthy

For most women gestational diabetes goes away once your baby is born. It's important to check this by having another Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) about 6-12 weeks after delivery. If this test is normal, you are advised to have an annual diabetes screening test with your general practitioner.

Further pregnancies. Your risk of having gestational diabetes in future pregnancies is very high.

If you are planning a pregnancy, ask your doctor for a blood test to screen for diabetes up to 3 months before becoming pregnant to make sure you have a normal blood glucose level before you are pregnant.

If you do become pregnant, have a blood glucose test early in your pregnancy (around 12 weeks) as well as the OGTT at 24-28 weeks if the early test is negative.

Once you have had gestational diabetes you have a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

To help lower the risks of developing type 2 diabetes you can:

  • Continue to eat healthy foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Achieve and maintain a suitable body weight. If you need to lose weight, do it slowly. This will help to keep it off.
  • Have regular screening tests for diabetes. For women who develop type 2 diabetes, early intervention will contribute to better management of the condition and will assist in the prevention of complications (diabetes can affect the heart, kidneys, eyes, circulation and nervous system).

Research also suggests that your baby has an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. Encouraging the family to follow a healthy eating plan and being physically active, will help to reduce the risk for you and your child.

Join the National Gestational Diabetes Register. This is an initiative established by the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS). Women who are registered will receive regular reminders for follow-up diabetes screening. Women will also receive information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and minimise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

To find out more about the National Gestational diabetes Register – www.ndss.com.au/GD

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The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is an initiative of the Australian Government administered with the assistance of Diabetes Australia.