Each November, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) leads a campaign to focus the nation’s attention on issues surrounding diabetes. This week marked the end of American Diabetes Month, but we wanted to post some related resources and information that you can use throughout the year, especially those that focus on diabetes and pregnancy.
The ADA reports that disease rates have nearly doubled in the past 20 years — from 5.5 percent in 1988 to 1994 to 9.3 percent in 2005 to 2010. More than 29 million American adults have diabetes and another 86 million have prediabetes.
Many women develop diabetes for the first time during pregnancy. Fortunately, many recover, but gestational diabetes can pose serious risks to both mom and baby:
- Gestational diabetes increases the chance of developing preeclampsia and hypertension during pregnancy.
- Gestational diabetes puts women at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the following 10-20 years.
- High glucose levels in the blood are believed to cause the malformation of embryos, leading to increased risk of birth defects.
- Children born to mothers who had gestational diabetes are believed to be at a higher risk of becoming obese or intolerant to glucose.
The keys to preventing diabetes during pregnancy are: not smoking, eating well, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight. (See this research summary that we wrote about that.)
Text4Baby and ChooseHealthLAMoms.com are a couple digital tools that help pregnant and postpartum women maintain a healthy lifestyle. (See our recent post about ChooseHealthLAMoms.com.) Mobile apps that encourage healthy eating and fitness include Epicurious, Fooducate, and MyFitnessPal.
During this season of overindulgence, share these seven holiday tips as a guide away from gluttony. Here is a round-up of resources to help new moms and moms-to-be reduce the risk of developing diabetes:
- What is Gestational Diabetes? (ADA)
- How to Treat Gestational Diabetes (ADA)
- Diabetes and Pregnancy: Before Pregnancy (ADA)
- Diabetes and Pregnancy: Prenatal Care (ADA)
- Diabetes and Pregnancy: Delivery (ADA)
- About Diabetes (National CPR Association)
- General information in Spanish: Lo que usted debe saber sobre la diabetes gestacional (U.S. Dept. of HHS)
Booklets and Guides
- Diabetes and Pregnancy: Gestational Diabetes: English, Spanish (CDC)
- Got Diabetes? Thinking About Having A Baby? English, Spanish (CDC)
- Gestational Diabetes booklet: English, Spanish, Chinese (CommuniCare Health Centers, a CDAPP Sweet Success affiliate program)
- California MyPlate for Gestational Diabetes: English, Spanish (CDAPP Sweet Success)
- Your Pregnancy Guide (Diabetes Forecast magazine, Oct. 2012)
- California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program (CDAPP) Sweet Success Resource & Training Center:
- Pregnant or Want to Be? Avoid Fried Foods! (Diabetes Forecast magazine, Jan. 2015)
- Exploring Why Gestational Diabetes Leads to Type 2 (Diabetes Forecast magazine, Jan. 2015)
- Gestational Diabetes Affects 1 in 20 Pregnancies (Diabetes Forecast magazine, Oct. 2014)
- Gestational Diabetes Linked to Sleep Apnea (Diabetes Forecast magazine, Dec. 2013)