In some women, gestational diabetes cannot be prevented. But you may be able to lower your chance of getting gestational diabetes by staying at a healthy weight and not gaining too much weight during pregnancy. Regular exercise can also help keep your blood sugar level within a safe range and prevent gestational diabetes.
If you have had gestational diabetes, you are at risk of developing it again in a future pregnancy. You are also at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a permanent type of diabetes. One of the best ways to prevent developing gestational diabetes again is to stay at a healthy weight.
If you have had gestational diabetes, avoid medicines that increase insulin resistance, such as nicotinic acid and glucocorticoid medicines (for example, prednisone and dexamethasone). It is also a good idea to avoid progestin-only birth control pills because they may raise your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Low-dose combination birth control pills that contain estrogen and progestin are not linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the best kind of contraception for you.4
A baby who is born to a woman with gestational diabetes is at risk for being overweight and for developing type 2 diabetes. If you are able to breast-feed your baby, doing so may lower the chance that he or she will become overweight. As your child gets older, encourage him or her to eat healthy foods and to exercise regularly to help prevent type 2 diabetes.