Women who put on significant weight before, during or just after birth, or suffer with gestational diabetes, are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research by the US National Institutes of Health.
Those who had a BMI of 30+, and who put on an additional 5kg during pregnancy, had a risk 43 times higher than those with a lower BMI who did not put on so much weight during their pregnancy.
This association was apparent regardless of age, familial history of diabetes, quality of diet, physical activity, breastfeeding duration, and time since gestational diabetes.
Researchers say this underlines the importance of sensible weight management during pregnancy, including the need to dispel the “eating for two” myth.
“It is important for women to realise that help is available for them from midwives and others, to manage their weight during pregnancy and to avoid gaining too much,” said Royal College of Midwives professional policy advisor Janet Fyle.