You’ve just given birth to a beautiful baby. But when your pregnancy is complicated by gestational diabetes, you may be concerned about the health of your baby as well as your own.
To check for possible complications, your baby may be taken out of the delivery room. These complications may include: low blood glucose, also called hypoglycemia, low blood calcium and magnesium levels, and breathing problems.
Over the next couple of days or weeks, if you notice a yellow tint to your baby’s skin, contact your baby’s healthcare provider; she may have jaundice and will need to be tested. Jaundice occurs more often when a pregnancy is complicated by gestational diabetes.
And as your baby grows older he may have an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Once your baby is born, your hormone levels decrease. Your insulin resistance usually disappears and in most cases, so does your diabetes.
There isn’t any reason that you can’t breastfeed if you desire to do so. In fact, it is highly recommended for your health and your baby’s. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least the first year of life and beyond, for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.
Because you have had gestational diabetes, you are at a greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes in the future. Therefore you will need to have your blood glucose checked six to eight weeks after delivery and once a year after that.
Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms of hyperglycemia. These include: increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, unusual tiredness, and cuts and sores that are slow to heal.
Once you’ve given birth, don’t forget about all the healthy habits you have developed while managing your gestational diabetes. Shortly after delivery, you can revisit your dietitian for a new meal plan for breastfeeding or weight loss if necessary. Making healthy food choices and being physically active can help you reach a healthy weight after delivery, and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
Reviewed by Jennifer Lincoln, March 2020