Follow-up care and future pregnancy

If you had diabetes before you were pregnant

After you go home, you should go back to having your usual appointments for diabetes care.

If you were diagnosed with retinopathy when you were pregnant, you should be offered checks for at least 6 months after the birth.

Your care team should remind you about the importance of using contraception, and advise you to plan well ahead for any future pregnancy.

If you had gestational diabetes

Having a healthy lifestyle

A member of your care team should give you advice about your lifestyle, including taking more exercise, improving your diet, and losing weight if necessary.

Checking for type 2 diabetes

Women who have had gestational diabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You should be offered a test a few weeks after the birth to make sure you don't have type 2 diabetes or a condition called 'glucose intolerance' (or 'pre‑diabetes'). Ideally this should be a fasting plasma glucose test between 6 and 13 weeks after the birth. If the test does not take place until after 13 weeks, you should still be offered a fasting plasma glucose test, but if this test is not possible an HbA1c test may be used instead. Ordinarily you should not be offered an oral glucose tolerance test (or OGTT).

If your blood glucose or HbA1c levels are above normal, this indicates that you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, or you may even have it already. You may have more tests to check this. You should be offered advice and treatment as needed.

If your blood glucose or HbA1c levels are normal, it is unlikely that you have type 2 diabetes at present. You should be advised to continue to follow lifestyle advice, as well as being offered an annual HbA1c test to check that diabetes hasn't developed, because you remain at risk.

Your care team should explain that you are at risk of getting gestational diabetes again, and you should be offered testing for diabetes in future pregnancies – see the section on checking for gestational diabetes for more information about this.

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