Your gestational diabetes will most likely go away after you give birth to your baby. Unless you actually have diabetes, you probably won’t need to continue checking your blood glucose after your baby is born. However, it’s up to you to take some extra steps to ensure that your gestational diabetes does not develop into type 2 diabetes.
As you may know women with gestational diabetes have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s why it is very important for you to get checked again for diabetes around six weeks after you give birth. You can also choose to have an HbA1c test 13 weeks after having your baby to test for diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have symptoms at first, so testing is the only way to ensure you don’t have it. To know for sure you’ll need to return to the doctor to get a blood test called the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
After your baby is born you can begin to eat a normal diet as you did before pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend that you check your blood glucose regularly after birth as well. Since it takes a while for your hormones to normalize after birth, you may experience some high readings. If you experience symptoms of hyperglycemia (such as increased thirst, trouble concentrating, blurred vision or frequent urination) along with high readings, you should speak to your doctor.
Even if your post-pregnancy glucose test is normal, gestational diabetes may come back if you get pregnant again. After one pregnancy with gestational diabetes, you have a 2 in 3 that the condition will return in future pregnancies.
These odds maybe high but being aware of them will help you take action. A good way to avoid gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes in the future is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help keep you on the right track.
Continue taking the small steps you began to take while pregnant like eating fresh fruits and vegetables, watching your portion sizes, and reducing sugary drinks and desserts. Keep up a regular exercise regimen with at least 30 minutes of activity and spurts of spontaneous activity built into the day.