Does gestational diabetes postpartum matter?

What to Know

  • Managing gestational diabetes in the postpartum period
  • Keep in touch with your health care provider

While giving birth often means a temporary resolution of even the most complicated blood sugar issues during pregnancy, moms with a history of gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of GDM in future pregnancies as well as type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes in the future.

Woman using lancet on finger to check blood sugar level

It’s important to keep regular appointments with your primary care provider in the post-partum period and to get your blood sugar tested in the lab both shortly post-partum and then annually thereafter.

While your diet may not have to include official carbohydrate counseling or insulin injections anymore, it’s still important to keep up a healthy diet and to stay physically active. Your Happy Family Coach can help you with planning meals and fitting in physical activity now that you’re busy with a newborn.

Breastfeeding is also a fantastic way to lower your and your baby’s risk of eventually developing diabetes in the future. It can also help you maintain your weight.

What to Do

Keep in touch with your healthcare provider

It’s important to attend your postpartum check-ups and follow up with your provider on getting a post-partum glucose test.

Continue to eat a high fiber diet

Fiber can help you feel full, sustain your energy, and manage your blood sugar. Good sources of fiber are whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc.), fruits and vegetables.

Incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal and snack and be sure to also include lean source of protein. The Happy Mama Mentors can also guide you toward healthy choices that fit into your new routine.

Limit added sugars.

Opt for naturally-occurring sugars such as whole fruit and milk. Limit items with sugar added (which will be more apparent on the new food labels coming soon). And remember that sugar is not always listed as “sugar” on the label – corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, sugar syrup, cane crystals, cane sugar, crystalline fructose, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup solids, and malt syrup are all sources of added sugar. Try to limit your intake to 100 calories, or 6 teaspoons, of added sugar per day (or less).

Fit in exercise

Once you are medically cleared for exercise postpartum, start trying to fit it into your schedule. Exercise can be split up into small bouts of time (10 minutes, 3 times per day, for example) and can even incorporate your baby!

See our postpartum exercise videos and articles for motivation.

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