Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs when a woman is pregnant. Changing hormone levels and weight gain are all part of a healthy pregnancy. But both these changes can make it hard for your body to keep up with its need for a hormone called insulin. Your body may not get the energy it needs from the food you eat and, later in your pregnancy, you could develop gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes often goes away after the baby is born but having gestational diabetes can place you and your child at increased risk for developing diabetes later in life.
Taking care of yourself will help keep you and your baby healthy throughout your lives. Important action steps include:
- Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Being physically active for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.
- Following a healthy eating plan.
Your health care provider will decide when you need to be checked for diabetes depending on your risk factors. Risk factors include:
- Age: 25 years of age or older.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese.
- Family history: Having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
- Baby’s birth weight: Delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
- Health history: A previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes in an earlier pregnancy.
- Blood glucose (blood sugar): Having pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal.
- Race/ethnicity: Being of African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander descent.
|Risks of gestational diabetes|
|Having gestational diabetes may increase your risk of high blood pressure or your baby may grow very large. Both can make delivery difficult and dangerous for you both. It can also cause other problems for your baby including:
|NIH and You|
|The NIH Office of Research of Women’s Health has partnered with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease’s National Diabetes Education Program on its Small Steps. Big Rewards – It’s Never Too Early…To Prevent Diabetes campaign to increase awareness about the future health risks for women with a history of gestational diabetes and their children. The campaign promotes screening for type 2 diabetes in women with a history of gestational diabetes, provides advice on future health risks, and promotes the importance of adopting and maintaining healthy behaviors.|
for more information: www.niddk.nih.gov