Gestational Diabetes

Pregnant women may develop gestational diabetes if their blood sugar levels (glucose) are too high. The condition affects the mother’s ability to use the hormone insulin; without enough insulin, blood sugar levels will continue to rise and your baby may be too large, making delivery dangerous for both of you. Gestational diabetes can put your baby at risk for diabetes, birth defects, and obesity in the future. more

Risk Factors

The following factors put you at risk of developing gestational diabetes while you are pregnant, and also increase your risk of getting pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes after you’ve had gestational diabetes.

  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease

What you should do

If you already have diabetes and are thinking about having a baby, work closely with your health care provider to get your blood glucose level in the normal range before you get pregnant. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes you should:

  • Get screened for diabetes and pre-diabetes regularly, starting 6 weeks after your baby is born..
  • Inform child’s pediatrician if you had gestational diabetes, and work together to reduce your child’s risk of obesity or other health problems.
  • If you smoke, quit. more
  • Exercise and maintain a healthy weight. more
  • Breastfeed your baby after birth to help lose weight, improve fasting blood glucose levels, and maintain a low average blood glucose level. more