A recent research revealed that the number of women suffering from gestational diabetes has risen four times over a period of 5 years. Hence, overweight women are being advised to reduce weight before they conceive.
Diabetes Australia-NSW has given shocking statistics. According to it, more than 18,500 cases of gestational diabetes were reported last year, whereas, only 4286 cases were reported in 2000.
30-50% of women suffering from gestational diabetes can develop type 2 diabetes. It may also result in overweight babies.
Diabetes Australia NSW president Neville Howard says, "The 400 per cent increase is greater than anyone predicted".
"The diabetes epidemic is getting more and more evident, this is a huge increase in gestational diabetes," said Mr. Howard.
"Better diagnosis and community awareness about the disease accounts for some of the rise but the real cause of the increase is linked to the growing obesity epidemic. Up to 30 % of young women in NSW are obese or overweight when they conceive and that's a major part of it," he said.
"When a woman is overweight the system breaks down and the insulin that is made is inadequate so diabetes comes out. Unfortunately not enough woman perceive themselves as being overweight or obese when they are thinking of having a family," said Mr. Howard.
According to him, it is essential for women to realize that their unborn child could also be affected.
"So we have an intergenerational problem occurring with both the mother and the baby at risk of diabetes," Mr Howard said.
"The messages are young women who are overweight or obese and considering getting pregnant then be aware of the risks of gestational diabetes. Be checked for it and if possible do things about your weight before you conceive and also during the pregnancy."