Australian study may help mums avoid diabetes



If you developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy, you’ll know how much you don’t want Type 2 diabetes later in life. Well, here’s your chance to take part in a national survey that may lower your risk.

Deakin University wants to recruit 1000 mums, in the face of studies that show half of women who get diabetes during pregnancy progress to Type 2 diabetes within a decade of giving birth.

Deakin’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition dietitian Dr Sharleen O’Reilly says the project will try to improve women’s health through lifestyle changes and better screening. She says studies show women who suffered gestational diabetes are keen to avoid developing Type 2 diabetes, but are generally not tested regularly.

“By participating in the survey, we hope to improve the level of care, advice and support they receive from their GPs to reduce their risks of developing Type 2 diabetes down the track,’’ Dr O’Reilly says. Mums who take part in the study will complete an easy 10- to-15-minute online survey.

Dr O’Reilly, a mum of two, says a woman’s health often goes on the back burner following the birth of a baby. “Late nights, long hours, sleep deprived and eating on the run to ensure bub is cared for around the clock means women may miss out on the care they need,” she says.

Melbourne mum Claire Moyles has already signed up for the study after suffering gestational diabetes when pregnant with son Josh, now 16 months. “I had no history of diabetes in my family and had put on just a little weight while pregnant but didn’t consider myself overweight,’’ Ms Moyles says.

“I received support throughout my pregnancy after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes but aside from being monitored during pregnancy, I am unsure what the follow-up procedures are.  I think if women have been diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy, it should wave a red flag to their GP on follow-up visits to ensure they are monitored.’’

To take part in the survey, go to the Mothers After Gestational Diabetes in Australia study.

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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