Gaining weight during pregnancy is a known risk factor for gestational diabetes. But a new study finds that women who gain weight after having a baby may be more likely to develop gestational diabetes during their next pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, can cause complications for both mother and baby.
The study, conducted in Norway and published in the journal PLOS Medicine, involved more than 24,000 women who gave birth between 2006 and 2014. The researchers considered the women’s previous history of gestational diabetes and body mass index (BMI) when they got pregnant again.
About 36 percent of the women gained more than 1 BMI unit of weight between the start of their first pregnancy and their second. These women were more likely than women whose weight was stable to develop diabetes during a second pregnancy. Women who gained twice as much weight had double the risk, and those who had the most weight gain had five times the risk. The risks were most dramatic among women whose weights were normal before their first pregnancy.
In better news, the study also found that overweight women who lost weight after delivery reduced their risk of diabetes during another pregnancy.