What is Postpartum Diabetes Control?

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Women who experienced gestational diabetes are often advised to observe postpartum diabetes control. While it is estimated that 9 out of 10 cases of gestational diabetes go away after giving birth, there are still some issues and risks that mothers who suffered from gestational diabetes should watch out for. These include an elevated risk for postpartum depression, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the tendency to have gestational diabetes during the next pregnancy and the possibility of difficulty losing weight after giving birth.

The blood sugar level of these mothers are often monitored in the hospital after birth. They are also advised to have regular check-ups during the next two months after discharge from the hospital to make sure that their blood sugar levels have normalized and that the gestational diabetes has resolved itself.

Emotional Problems

The first few months after delivery can be stressful for most new mothers as hormones attempt to return to normal. There are some studies linking gestational diabetes with postpartum depression, with most results indicating that the risks of postpartum depression are higher in women who had gestational diabetes.

Reducing the Risks

There are several ways of reducing the risks related to postpartum diabetes. For one, mothers should be familiar with the symptoms of postpartum depression. Those who experience postpartum depression may be sad and angry during the first weeks after delivery. Other symptoms are difficulty in sleeping, unexplained exhaustion, lack of appetite, anxiety, and even entertaining thoughts of harming one’s self or the baby. The good news is that postpartum depression is curable.

Mothers with gestational diabetes are usually advised to follow a healthy diet and do exercises regularly after birth. Their ideal weight should be targeted, and this can be achieved by having a diet of fruits, vegetables and grains, and allotting at least 30 minutes daily for regular exercise. These are important measures to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. One study suggested that gestational diabetes increases the tendency of the woman to develop type 2 diabetes. In order to avoid this from happening, mothers should maintain ideal weight, control hypertension, reduce their blood cholesterol level, and avoid being inactive.

Breastfeeding is also safe for women who have enough calories and follow a good diet. There are also researches that support the theory that breastfeeding can lower the risks of the baby becoming overweight. Breastfeeding can also help women lose weight after delivery as well as decrease their risks for type 2 diabetes.

Postpartum diabetes control poses a challenge for new mothers because, aside from having a new baby to take care of, they also have to be mindful of following a healthy diet, watching their weight, and doing exercises. These however, are necessary things to do for women who were affected with gestational diabetes in order to stay fit, and be able to have more healthy babies later on.


Everyday Health: Type 2 Diabetes may Follow Gestational Diabetes

Everyday Health: Postpartum Depresseion and Gestational Diabetes

NDIC: What I need to know about Gestational Diabetes