But even if gestational diabetes develops, if, postpartum, you up your daily exercise routine by 20 minutes or more each day, the chances of developing type 2 diabetes are greatly reduced.
The study, published online at the Journal of the American Medical Association's Internal Medicine, concluded: "Among the one-fifth of women who exercised the least, about 19 percent developed diabetes later on, compared to about 9 percent among the one-fifth who exercised the most.
The researchers found that a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes fell by about 9 percent for every additional 100 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise added per week."
Women with gestational diabetes, who increased their exercise routine by slightly more than 20 minutes a day are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes later on, concluded the study.
Though it's possible that some women may experience some common diabetes symptoms, for example frequent thirst and urination, most of the time, pregnant women are totally unaware that they have gestational diabetes; they typically find out from their doctor.
The danger in gestational diabetes is that the baby may be delivered earlier and may be heavier than normal.
Uncontrolled blood sugar during pregnancy can also result in the mother having high blood pressure or abnormal protein content in the urine (preeclampsia).
Although gestational diabetes may disappear postpartum, the chances of the mother developing type 2 diabetes is increased, especially within 5 years of giving birth, says the study.
The takeaway from the study: It's very important to be physically active before, during and after pregnancy.
Even if you haven't been active, though, and have recently become pregnant, take solace in the study's conclusions that you may better avoid gestational diabetes if you start exercising during pregnancy.