Mums struggling after gestational diabetes

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New research shows mums are struggling to prioritise their own health after experiencing gestational diabetes.

University of South Australia researcher and PhD candidate Kristy Gray said 1.3 million people are living with diabetes Australia-wide.

More than 38,000 pregnant women experience gestational diabetes annually, making it the fastest growing type of diabetes in the country.

“Women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes have seven times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, making them one of the most at-risk groups,” she said.

“Of course, gestational diabetes doesn’t only occur in women who are overweight, but for those who have had gestational diabetes and are also overweight, the risk for developing type 2 diabetes is increased.

“This research shows that despite women being well informed about the right foods to eat and the need to exercise (including the range of diet and exercise programs and trackers), women identify their primary barrier to weight loss as ‘family responsibilities’, with 62 per cent prioritising this over their personal health.”

The researchers assessed 429 women (aged 30-44) previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Ms Gray said women need better access to more individualised support services and professional guidance to lose weight.

“As a nation, we need to start thinking differently about preventative services,” Ms Gray said.