Question: If I have gestational diabetes, what is likely to happen after pregnancy?
Answer: Women who have gestational diabetes are at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, or 'adult onset diabetes,' later in life. In fact, women with gestational diabetes are probably at a significant risk; anywhere between a third and a half of them will get type 2 diabetes over the next 10-15 years. So, my advice to women in this situation is to realize that they're at increased risk for diabetes and to do everything they can to prevent it.
We know that there are some very simple things you can do to reduce that risk. Exercising a half-an-hour a day, five days a week, even if it's just a brisk walk, combined with a modest amount of weight loss in the neighborhood of 10 pounds, will reduce your risk of diabetes by almost 60 percent. Even if it doesn't prevent you from getting diabetes forever, it may delay the onset of your diabetes by 10, 15, maybe even 20 years.
What really matters is that you take as good care of yourself as possible, to become as lean and as fit as you can, and in doing so, model good behavior for your child who, because you are at risk for diabetes, may have an increased risk for diabetes as well.