Controlling weight gain in women with gestational diabetes can significantly lower the risk of complications at birth, according to new research.
University of Cambridge scientists identified that women with gestational diabetes who put on extra weight were more likely to experience a Caesarean section, need more insulin after birth, had higher blood pressure and increased blood sugar levels.
Expectant mothers with gestational diabetes who maintained a stable weight throughout their pregnancy were more likely to achieve better health outcomes.
Eating a healthy diet low in sugar is recommended during pregnancy and women with gestational diabetes can reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and other complications by keeping good control of blood sugar levels concurrent with maintaining a normal weight.
Obstetrician Dr Catherine Aike, who led the research, said: “Although gestational diabetes is very common, there are no targets to help women manage their weight after diagnosis.
“The results of this study suggest that keeping weight stable after diagnosis may be extremely beneficial for women and their babies.”
A total of 546 pregnant ladies with gestational diabetes were examined in this study, and at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference this week Dr Claire Meek, a University of Cambridge researchers, revealed that more funding has been allotted for the team to further explore their findings.
Now, the researchers plan to recruit another 500 women to see how weight control affects their health during pregnancy.
Dr Meek said: “These findings, although preliminary, are very exciting because they suggest that there’s an opportunity for women to improve their health during pregnancy, there’s an opportunity for women to have healthier and safer pregnancies and healthier babies if they keep their weight stable after diagnosis.”

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