Children of mothers affected by gestational-diabetes (GDM) are at higher risk of long-term cardio-metabolic diseases. We explore the diet and physical activity knowledge and practices of Australian-born and overseasborn-mothers with GDM history, for their 3-4 year old children following ante-natal health promotion education at a tertiary hospital. We conducted face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with 8 Australian-born and 15 overseas-born-mothers with GDM history. Finding indicated that mothers of both groups were unaware of the increased health risks of their GDM for their children and could not recall receiving specific dietary or physical activity advice aimed at future child health. Their understanding of the diet and physical activity recommendations was inconsistent. Mothers of both groups expressed concern about the lack of reiteration of child health promotion messages following childbirth, particularly at postnatal follow-up visits. Diet and physical activity of children of overseas-born-mothers were adversely affected by inadequate maternal understanding of the recommendations due to language barriers, and child weight, healthy eating and physical activity patterns derived from their home countries. We recommend enhanced health education of women with GDM on the future child health risks and their reduction by healthy lifestyle choices. This needs to be culturally relevant and reiterated after pregnancy.
- gestational diabetes
- physical activity