November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country team up to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans.
This year’s National Diabetes Month is focused on promoting health after gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Mothers who’ve had gestational diabetes need to know that they and their children have an increased lifelong risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Patients should be told:
Most of the time, gestational diabetes goes away after the baby is born. Even if the diabetes goes away, you have a greater chance of getting diabetes — and your child from that pregnancy is at future risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. In fact, half of all women who had gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. Patients should be told:
If you’ve had gestational diabetes—
- Get tested for type 2 diabetes within 12 weeks after your baby is born. I recommend you call your primary OB provider office when the baby is 4 weeks old and ask that a lab order be put in the computer. Then, you can get the test done before you see your OB for the 6 week follow up appointment. If the test is normal, get tested every 3 years.
- Remind ALL your health care providers that you have had gestational diabetes in the past.
- Talk to your doctor if you plan to become pregnant again in the future.
- Tell your child’s doctor if you had gestational diabetes.
- Keep up healthy habits for a lifetime to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.