Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 20 to 50 percent chance of developing diabetes in the five to 10 years following pregnancy. All women with gestational diabetes must be tested for type 2 diabetes six to eight weeks after delivery. If the woman's blood glucose levels are still high, she should see her personal physician and avoid becoming pregnant before additional tests are done.
Guidelines for Postpartum Care
- Maintain a healthy weight (this lowers the chances of having gestational diabetes again).
- If overweight, lose 5 to 10 percent of body weight, which can lower a patient's risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Eat a healthy diet. Choose foods low in fat and high in fiber, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals or bagels, beans and legumes.
- Use less sugar and drink fewer sweetened beverages.
- Breastfeed, as it can help lower blood glucose levels.
- Have blood glucose levels checked annually.