Staying active after gestational diabetes is essential

Thu, 24 Nov 2005
The changes in female hormones in the latter (2nd and 3rd trimesters) part of pregnancy can lead to a condition known as gestational diabetes. This condition occurs when the body cannot meet the demand for insulin placed upon it by a growing foetus. The need for insulin may grow to almost three times as much as normal. Usually gestational diabetes can be managed by diet and exercise, and goes away after the baby is born. However, as well as post-natal care, new mothers who have had gestational diabetes should make sure that they exercise sufficiently in order to avoid further complications.

Women who have had gestational diabetes unfortunately suffer an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Keeping physical activity regular has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of diabetes, and in women recovering from gestational diabetes it is particularly important, and particularly difficult.

Recent mothers have enormous demands placed on their time. Not only are they likely to be faced with virtually full-time childcare, the chances are that they face further responsibilities including previous children, housecare and the need to financially make ends meet. It may seem that there isn’t any time for exercise, and it can be shuffled down the priorities list.

A recent study of mothers who suffered from gestational diabetes in Australia has shown that a startling percentage do not feel that they have the time or support to exercise adequately. Self confidence and social support were identified as being important factors in maintaining sufficient physical activity.

Keeping active after gestational diabetes could be critical to your future health. Make exercise a priority, but remember to check with your doctor beforehand.
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