Gestational Diabetes

Pregnant women may develop gestational diabetes if their blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. The condition affects the mother's ability to use the hormone insulin. Without enough insulin, blood sugar levels remain high and baby may become large for gestational age, which can present challenges for delivery. Gestational diabetes can put a baby at risk for diabetes, birth defects, and obesity in the future. MORE

Risk Factors

The following factors increase risk of developing gestational diabetes while pregnant. These risk factors will also increase risk for prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes after having gestational diabetes.

  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • History of Gestational Diabetes with former pregnancy/pregnancies
  • Age > 25

What you should do

If you have already been diagnosed with 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 prediabetes and/or diabetes regularly, starting 6 weeks after your baby is born.
  • Inform your child's pediatrician and work together to reduce your child's risk of obesity or other health problems.
  • If you smoke, quit. more
  • Increase your physical activity. MORE
  • Maintain a healthy weight. MORE
  • Breastfeed your baby after birth to help lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. MORE