Around 9 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. are diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD), a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. But in some cases, it can develop into permanent diabetes.
For women with gestational diabetes, the big question is often when the condition will go away. In this post, we’ll explore some answers to that question and also look at some postpartum care tips to help prevent permanent diabetes.
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It occurs when the body can’t produce enough insulin to manage the extra glucose in the blood. This can lead to high blood sugar levels, which can cause complications for both mother and baby. It’s important that the condition is managed during pregnancy, as it can increase the risk of preterm labor and other health problems for the baby.
The good news is that gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. However, if left untreated during pregnancy, it can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future.
So let’s take a look at when gestational diabetes usually goes away, and how you can take care of yourself after delivery to reduce your risk of permanent diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of gestational diabetes usually start to appear in the 24th-28th week of pregnancy. In some cases, symptoms can be mild and go unnoticed. It’s important to pay attention to any changes in your body, such as excessive thirst and frequent urination. Other common symptoms include fatigue, blurred vision and increased hunger.
It’s also important to monitor your blood sugar levels throughout your pregnancy and speak with your doctor if you have any concerns.
How will gestational diabetes affect pregnancy?
Gestational diabetes can cause a range of complications for both the mother and the baby. It can increase the risk of preterm labor, stillbirth, macrosomia (having a large baby) and shoulder dystocia (when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck during birth).
It’s important to manage gestational diabetes during pregnancy. This usually involves following a special diet and monitoring your blood sugar levels. In some cases, women may need to take insulin or other medications to help regulate their blood sugar.
When Does Gestational Diabetes Go Away?
Most women with gestational diabetes will see their blood sugar levels return to normal after delivery. However, this is not always the case. Some women may continue to have elevated levels of glucose in their blood even after pregnancy, which can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
For this reason, it’s important that you continue to monitor your blood sugar levels after delivery and seek medical advice if you notice any changes.
Can I still breastfeed if I have gestational diabetes?
Yes, you can still breastfeed even if you have gestational diabetes. Breastfeeding can actually help to lower your risk of developing permanent diabetes in the future. During breastfeeding, the hormones released can help to reduce insulin resistance, which helps to manage your blood sugar levels.
It’s important to talk to your doctor or midwife before you start breastfeeding. They can provide advice on how to monitor your blood sugar levels while breastfeeding and make sure that you’re getting enough nutrition.
What are some healthy snack ideas for people with gestational diabetes?
Snacking is a great way to help manage gestational diabetes. The key is to choose snacks that are low in sugar and fat, such as boiled eggs, nuts, plain yogurt, string cheese or fruit.
You should also aim to eat balanced meals throughout the day that include carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. This will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and provide you with the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy.
It’s also important to limit sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice and opt for water instead. Limiting your intake of processed foods, saturated fat and trans fat can also help manage gestational diabetes.
What are the treatment of Gestational Diabetes?
Treatment for gestational diabetes usually involves making lifestyle changes, such as monitoring your blood sugar levels, following a healthy diet and exercising regularly. In some cases, women may need to take insulin or other medications in order to regulate their blood sugar levels properly.
It’s also important that you attend all of your prenatal appointments and follow your doctor’s advice. This can help to ensure that both you and your baby remain healthy throughout the pregnancy.
Finally, if gestational diabetes persists after delivery, it’s important to continue to monitor your blood sugar levels and seek medical advice if necessary.
By taking steps to manage gestational diabetes during and after pregnancy, you can reduce your risk of developing permanent diabetes in the future.
Remember that if you experience any symptoms or have concerns about gestational diabetes, it’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. With the right care and management, both you and your baby can stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Tips to prevent Gestational Diabetes
The best way to prevent gestational diabetes is to lead a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy. Here are some tips that can help:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Try to reach your pre-pregnancy weight before conception.
- Make nutritious food choices: Eat a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
- Get regular physical activity: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels: Talk to your doctor about testing for diabetes before conception and during pregnancy.
- Manage stress: Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as yoga, meditation or talking to a friend.
- Get enough rest: Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night to keep your body and mind healthy.
- Seek medical advice promptly: If you experience any symptoms of gestational diabetes, seek medical advice right away.
By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes and ensure a healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby. Just remember to always get medical advice if you’re experiencing any symptoms of the condition. With the right care and management, you can lower your risk of developing permanent diabetes in the future.
Gestational diabetes is a common condition during pregnancy, but with the right care and management, you can reduce your risk of developing it. Aim to maintain a healthy weight, make nutritious food choices and get regular physical activity before and during pregnancy. Also, be sure to monitor your blood sugar levels and seek medical advice promptly if you experience any symptoms of gestational diabetes. By taking the proper steps to manage this condition, you can ensure a healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby.