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Pregnancy diabetes linked to weight

02 October 2014 09:13

Research found that being overweight greatly increases the chances of developing gestational diabetes

Research found that being overweight greatly increases the chances of developing gestational diabetes

The risk of developing diabetes while pregnant can be greatly reduced if expectant mothers follow a healthy living plan, a new study has found.

Gestational diabetes is a pregnancy complication which most commonly affects women in the third trimester. It usually disappears after the birth, but women affected are more likely to go on to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. There can also be implications for the baby, such as macrosomia - where babies are large for their gestational age.

In a study published on, US researchers examined lifestyle factors which may have an impact on the chances of developing gestational diabetes.

They concluded that being overweight or obese before pregnancy is the highest risk factor, with a woman with a body mass index (BMI) above 33 more than four times more likely to develop the condition. A BMI above 25 is considered overweight.

Smoking and lack of exercise were also cited as major risk factors, with women who do not smoke, are a healthy weight and engage in regular exercise found to be 41% less likely to develop gestational diabetes.

In addition, women who had a combination of all three of those low-risk factors and were a normal weight when they became pregnant were found to have a 52% reduced chance of contracting the condition.

Tips for healthy eating when pregnant:

A varied and nutritional diet while pregnant is essential to ensure good health for both mother and baby.

While away on holiday, though, it can often be tempting to over-indulge at the hotel buffet or order those extra sides when dining out.

But it can also be a great chance to try out the best of local produce, while keeping your baby's health at the forefront of your mind.

Freshly-caught fish, just-off-the-vine tomatoes and good quality fresh meat and vegetables are all excellent sources of nutrition for pregnant women - and delicious for everyone.

It can be easy to snack healthily too, with vegetable sticks dipped in hummus, fresh fruit, low-fat yoghurt and soups all highly recommended by health professionals.

Such foods are plentiful on holidays to the Mediterranean - from freshly caught local fish simply grilled over open flames to tomatoes drizzled in extra virgin olive oil.

As well as eating well on holiday, pregnant women should also arrange pregnancy travel insurance for added peace of mind for the duration on their break.