Gestational diabetes usually goes away after you give birth. But if you have it in one pregnancy, you’re more likely to have it in your next pregnancy. You’re also more likely to develop diabetes later in life. Being active, eating healthy foods that are low in sugar and losing weight may help reduce your chances of developing diabetes later in life.
Can gestational diabetes cause problems during pregnancy?
Most of the time gestational diabetes can be controlled and treated during pregnancy to protect both mom and baby. If untreated, though, it can cause serious health problems for you and your baby. If gestational diabetes is left untreated, your baby is more likely to:
Who is more likely to have gestational diabetes?
You may be more likely than other women to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy if:
Even women without any of these risk factors can develop gestational diabetes. This is why health care providers test you during pregnancy to see if you have this condition.
How do you know if you have gestational diabetes?
Your health care provider tests you for gestational diabetes with a prenatal test called a glucose tolerance test. You get the test at 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. Your provider may give you the test earlier if he thinks you’re likely to develop gestational diabetes.
If you do have gestational diabetes, eating healthy foods and being physically active may be enough to control your blood sugar levels. Women with gestational diabetes may need to check their blood sugar several times a day. You can do this with a special finger-stick device. Some women with gestational diabetes need treatment with medicine or insulin shots. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body control its blood sugar level.
Last reviewed October 2012