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Gestational Diabetes: Can I Lower My Risk?

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How to Lower Your Risk--Activity

Getting regular physical activity, if your condition allows it, can help keep your glucose levels healthy.

In one study, researchers found that women who were physically active before and during their pregnancy reduced their risk of GDM by about 70% or even more. The women got about 4 hours a week of physical activity.

During pregnancy, walking and swimming are good choices.

Your doctor can tell you how much physical activity to aim for and how often. It depends upon your overall health.  

How to Lower Your Future Risk--After Delivery

Some of the same risk factors that put you in danger of getting GDM also make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. And, if you are diagnosed with GDM, your risk of type 2 diabetes after your pregnancy rises.

After you deliver, you can follow the same healthy diet and exercise plan. You can also lower your diabetes risk by getting back to a healthy weight.

Bonus: Shedding some pounds will also get you in better shape for the rigors of motherhood.

You don't have to stress about getting down to your old "skinny jeans" weight. If you are overweight, just losing 5% to 7% of your body weight can help reduce risk. Say you weigh 180 pounds. Losing just 9 pounds can help your health. 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on July 09, 2014
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