Once a woman, diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, gives birth, she needs to be vigilant of the symptoms related to the long-term effects of the disease.

Usually, gestational diabetes goes away after the birth of a baby. However, women who experienced it during pregnancy are more likely to develop symptoms of gestational diabetes again in their future pregnancies. The chances of development of type 2 diabetes (which is a lifelong type of diabetes) also increases manifold in a woman with a history of gestational diabetes during the previous pregnancy. 1

Therefore, such women should get their blood test done to check for sugar levels 6 to 13 weeks after giving birth and should continue doing the same every year if the result is normal. The doctor should be contacted immediately in case a woman experiences symptoms, such as increased thirst, tendency to urinate and use washroom more often than usual, and dryness of the mouth. 1

The doctor may even advise about the things that can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes, such as maintenance of a healthy weight, consumption of a balanced diet, and regular exercise. 1

Here are the following things a woman should keep in mind for planning future pregnancies, if she had gestational diabetes during the previous pregnancy.

  • If a woman is planning a pregnancy, she should certainly get herself checked for diabetes. 1
  • If diabetes is detected during the blood test, the woman should consult a diabetes preconception clinic. Such a clinic can ensure that the blood sugar levels are well controlled before the woman gets pregnant. 1
  • If the test fails to show the presence of diabetes, the woman is usually tested again after pregnancy. The first testing is conducted in the early weeks of pregnancy and the second testing is conducted between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. 1
  • As an alternative measure, a woman can also be suggested to start testing her blood glucose using a finger-pricking device. 1
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