Gestational Diabetes & Type 2
Question: I had gestational diabetes with my second child. How do I make sure and prevent type 2 diabetes for me and my child?
Answer: Gestational diabetes affects women during pregnancy and causes a lifelong risk for diabetes. Children of women with a history of gestational diabetes are also at risk, especially if they are overweight. But families can take steps to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
If you had gestational diabetes, you can prevent type 2 diabetes by losing a small amount of weight, by being more physically active, and by making healthy food choices. Your child can lower his or her risk for type 2 diabetes if they do not become overweight.
Tips for Mothers
- If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, get tested for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born, then every 1 to 2 years.
- Breastfeed your baby. It may lower your child's lifelong risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
- Be physically active at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
- Eat smaller portions of healthy foods.
- Set a good example for your children by eating a variety of healthy foods from each food group. Remember: babies and toddlers require fat for brain development, so don't start low-fat dairy before 2 years of age.
- Provide nutritious foods and let your child choose. Enjoy at least 1 meal together each day and celebrate with seasonal, locally grown foods.
- Help your children be physically active at least 60 minutes a day. Limit TV and video and computer game time.
- Limit sweetened beverages like soda and fruit drinks. Instead, choose water.
Published September/October 2009, Southwest Health