What next after the birth?
Babies of women who have had gestational diabetes are not further checked and examined after discharge from the hospital. If the diabetes was inadequately treated during pregnancy, in addition to the immediate complications after birth, the child may also be more prone to obesity from childhood and at higher risk of type 2 diabetes in the future. This can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle – plenty of exercise and healthy eating habits.
However, unlike children, women who have had gestational diabetes should be checked regularly because of the increased risk of type 2 diabetes (30-60%) and the risk of recurrence in the next pregnancy.
Checks should be arranged by a GP or diabetologist:
– The first check should be in 3-6 months after delivery, in the form of OGTT.
– The next OGTT is done in one year, followed by fasting glucose check once a year and OGTT once in 3 years.
The frequency of check-ups should be individually adjusted according to risk factors for the development of diabetes. The greatest likelihood of diabetes is in the first five years after birth. Women who had gestational diabetes with higher fasting glycaemia or need for insulin treatment or higher weight before and during pregnancy and women with a family history of diabetes are at increased risk. However regular physical activity (5 times a week for 30-45 min, brisk walking is sufficient) reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 50%.