New Moms and Diabetes: Watch Your Weight , Study Says

New moms who developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy and have a history of weight struggles might need to carefully watch their post-baby weight, researchers say.

A study published in Diabetologia found that women who were obese before pregnancy, developed gestational diabetes and who gained just 11 pounds after giving birth, had a 43 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who were lean before pregnancy, experienced gestational diabetes and gained the same amount of weight or less afterward.

Previous research has shown that women who experienced gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life, but the new study sheds more light on how pre-pregnancy weight can further affect these health outcomes.

Making weight management a priority

The study results are alarming given that researchers accounted for factors like age, diet, physical activity and family history – but the relationship between weight changes and diabetes risk remained unchanged in the women they studied.

The findings are in line with guidelines from the National Diabetes Education Programme (NDEP) of the National Institutes of Health that suggest post-birth weight management should be a priority.

While weight gain during pregnancy is normal, creating a safe and effective exercise and diet plan to shed the weight after birth is something women can discuss with their physicians.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a realistic weight-loss goal after pregnancy is about 1 pound a week, which can usually be achieved with diet and exercise changes.

Source: Science Daily, Mayo Clinic

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