What is it?
Diabetes develops if the body can’t make enough insulin. Insulin helps the body to absorb sugar from the blood. Some women get a type of diabetes when they are pregnant. This is called gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born. But, without proper care, the condition may cause health issues for you and your baby.
What will my GP do now?
You’ll be referred to your local hospital’s antenatal clinic (unless you have a private obstetrician). The clinic staff will arrange referrals to specialists, nurses, or other health professionals. The staff will also:
- Help you manage your condition
- See you regularly to check your progress
- Show you how you can change your lifestyle to ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth
- Talk to you about medicine if your blood sugar levels stay high
Your GP will support you through this process.
What will my GP do in the future?
Over months, and even years, your GP will regularly review your blood sugar levels.
You’ll need to see your GP six weeks after your baby is born. Your GP will:
- Tell you if you need to stop taking any medicine
- Test your blood glucose
- Give you resources about the benefits of breastfeeding (which helps to reduce the risk of your baby developing type 2 diabetes)
- Give you options for birth control
- Talk to you about future pregnancies
What can I do?
Learning how to manage your condition and living a healthy lifestyle are both important steps to take.
Here’s how you can ensure a healthy pregnancy:
- Eat a healthy, low-fat, low-sugar diet – speak to a dietitian or diabetes educator for meal plans and advice
- Exercise regularly – exercise helps to lower high blood sugar levels, so try to take a brisk walk for 30 minutes each day
- Follow your gestational diabetes plan – make sure you know about your future tests, any medicine you need to take, and who to call if you have questions
- Don’t aim for weight loss – the focus is on managing the condition, not losing weight
- Monitor your blood sugar levels – your GP will show you how