Preventing Diabetes After Pregnancy
You may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes if you:
- have a history of gestational diabetes
- are greater than 25 years of age
- need to lose weight
- you are inactive
- are African American, Asian or Hispanic
- have a family history of diabetes
Test your blood sugar once a week before breakfast and one hour after a meal. If your blood sugar is greater than 100 mg/dL before breakfast and/or greater than 140 mg/dL 1 hour after the start of a meal, call your healthcare provider.
On your baby’s first birthday, repeat the 75gm OGTT and get your cholesterol and lipids (fats) checked.Repeat the tests every 3 years if they are normal.If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes (fasting greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL or 2 hour greater than or equal to 140 mg/dL), get a referral from your family doctor to a diabetes center or a registered dietitian.If you have pre-diabetes, you must have the tests done every year.
You may be able to protect yourself from with certain lifestyle choices.Prevention is the key.Listed below are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Breastfeed your baby
- Lose weight
- Eat right
- Exercise 30-60 minutes every day
- Get to a healthy weight
- Stop smoking
What is your BMI?
A healthy weight is a body mass index that is less than 25.Overweight is greater than or equal to 25.If you body mass index is too high, consider a lifestyle change.If you are overweight or obese and your blood pressure is high, get your cholesterol and lipid (fats) checked.You may be at risk for metabolic syndrome:
- Blood pressure great than 120/80
- Triglycerides greater than 150
- HDLs less than 50
- LDLs greater than 100
The long term risk of type 2 diabetes is heart disease, the same as a man who has already had a heart attack.
Start with 5-10 minutes a day.Gradually increase up to 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. Do something fun:
- Riding bikes
Healthy Meal Plan
Eat 3 healthy meals and 3 healthy snacks.Count calories, read food labels and control portions.Use the plate method – ¼ grains or carbohydrates, ¼ protein, and ½ non-starchy veggies. Keep a food diary and record your progress. Try to avoid fast food!Talk to a dietitian or healthcare provider if you need help with your meal plan.
What is your weight?
Maintain a healthy weight.Weight loss is key.A 5-10 percentloss will greatly reduce your risk. Ask your doctor or nurse what a healthy weight is for you and work toward getting there.
Strength training improves weight loss and builds strong bones and muscles.Use light weights, elastic bands, or plastic tubes. Flexibility exercises improve joint function and reduce injury. Gentle stretching 5-10 before and after exercise helps improve the body’s benefit from exercise.
Follow up with your doctor for screening at least every year to rule out type 2 diabetes.Plan for next or no more pregnancies. There is a risk of birth defects the first three months of pregnancy with uncontrolled diabetes.