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Post-Gestational Diabetes: 5 Habits for Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Post-Gestational Diabetes: 5 Habits for Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Pregnancy is complex. Gestational diabetes, a condition that affects 2-10% of pregnant women yearly in the United States, makes it even more challenging to navigate your pregnancy.

Around 50% of women who experience gestational diabetes during pregnancy go on to develop type 2 diabetes years later. While the risk is high, you can take gestational diabetes as a warning sign and an opportunity to change your lifestyle. 

By taking the necessary steps to adopt a healthier lifestyle, you can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes. 

At Salem Wellness Clinic, Laika Rodriguez, ND, can assist you with personalized diabetes and pre-diabetes management. If you’ve had gestational diabetes during pregnancy and want to avoid type 2 diabetes in the future, visit our office in Salem, Oregon, for the support you need. 

Gestational diabetes: What to know 

Just like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your body processes blood sugar (glucose) into energy. This process relies on a hormone from your pancreas called insulin. 

If you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your pancreas can’t make enough insulin to keep up with the blood glucose demand. As a result, the condition increases your blood sugar, which can cause complications for both you and your baby. With gestational diabetes, you’re more likely to experience:

After having gestational diabetes, you’ll need to keep in touch with your doctor for regular blood sugar tests to monitor for type 2 diabetes. 

Habits for Type 2 diabetes prevention

Although gestational diabetes increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, type 2 diabetes isn’t a guarantee. Adopt these five habits to lower your risk:

1. Breastfeed your baby

Breastfeeding your baby after gestational diabetes could help prevent type 2 diabetes in the future. That is because breastfeeding helps your body process glucose and insulin more efficiently. The longer you breastfeed your baby, the lower your risk for type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes. 

Some women aren’t able to breastfeed. If you’re one of them, formula can still provide your baby with the essential nutrients they need. 

2. Lead an active lifestyle

You don’t have to start running marathons, but you should be physically active. Exercising 30-60 minutes most days of the week can mitigate your type 2 diabetes risk after gestational diabetes. 

3. Follow a healthy meal plan

For most people, healthy eating involves a reduced-calorie and nutrient-rich diet. Follow these simple tips to start eating better today:

Also, include plenty of colorful fruits and veggies in your meals. 

Weight management is an important step in diabetes prevention, and adopting healthy eating and exercise habits can help you achieve a healthy weight. 

4. Lighten your alcohol consumption

Heavy alcohol consumption can raise your risk for diabetes. You may stop drinking entirely if you please, but one drink a day may increase the efficiency of your insulin getting glucose into your cells. 

5. Stop smoking

It’s essential to stop smoking while you’re pregnant, and you should continue your cessation after giving birth if you want to lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. 

You can trust Salem Wellness Clinic for primary care as you navigate life after gestational diabetes. For more information about preventing type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes, call Salem Wellness Clinic or book an appointment online today. 


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