Almost 103 million U.S. adults are living with diabetes, or “prediabetes,” a condition that can turn into Type 2 diabetes. This year, National Diabetes Month is focused on gestational diabetes—a condition affecting pregnant moms. Gestational diabetes usually goes away once a baby is born, but it can lead to Type 2 in moms even after delivery, and can also put children at future risk.
Gestational diabetes is treatable and manageable
The good news is, gestational diabetes can be treated with frequent checkups, self-monitoring, and healthy lifestyle habits. These habits also help women prevent Type 2 diabetes—and other diseases not related to pregnancy—after their baby is born.
Diabetes, hypertension, and home blood pressure monitoring for pregnant women
Along with other health problems that can stem from diabetes, people with diabetic conditions are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure (hypertension)—a cause of possible heart attack and stroke. One study showed that hypertensive women who monitored their own blood pressure had fewer hospital visits, without negatively affecting their health or the health of their babies. Many of the lifestyle prevention habits for diabetes and high blood pressure are the same.
Gestational diabetes is not uncommon. If pregnant women create healthy habits and follow their doctor’s advice, they can lessen or avoid risks from gestational diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. And healthy habits like good nutrition and exercise are great investments in the prevention of other diseases. These habits can lead to better quality of life for moms, dads and families.