Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can affect women during pregnancy. Pregnant women may develop gestational diabetes if their blood sugar levels (glucose) are too high. Gestational diabetes is recognized as impaired glucose intolerance, which can affect the way your body uses sugar for energy. The condition affects the mother’s ability to use the hormone insulin; without enough insulin, blood sugar levels will continue to rise. Untreated gestational diabetes can harm the unborn baby. 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 an even greater risk of getting pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes after you’ve had gestational diabetes.

  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Being of African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander, or Asian American-descent
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease

What you should do

  • Get screened for diabetes and pre-diabetes regularly if you have experienced gestational diabetes.
  • Inform child’s pediatrician if you had gestational diabetes as this increases their obesity and diabetes risks.
  • If you smoke, quit. more
  • 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