What is Gestational Diabetes and Can I Prevent It?

When does gestational diabetes usually occur?

Women who develop gestational diabetes during
pregnancy were usually not diabetic before they conceived
, and most won't be diabetic after their baby is born. For some unknown reason, some women develop this form of diabetes around the 24th week of pregnancy. It's important to treat the diabetes as soon as possible for the safety of both the mother and child. It is estimated that around 4% of pregnant women develop this problem during the third trimester of their pregnancy.

Some of the dangers and problems of gestational diabetes

Women with symptoms of diabetes during pregnancy may begin to gain too much weight. They run the risk of having a baby that weighs over 9 pounds, and this increases the chance that the mother will not be able to deliver normally. She may need to have a C-section which takes longer to recover from and can cause complications.

Are some women more likely to get this type of diabetes?

Although women with no risk factors may develop gestational diabetes, being more than 20% overweight when you become pregnant or being a member of an ethnic group that tends to be high risk for this kind of diabetes may put a woman at more risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Women who are Native American, Black, Hispanic, or Asian tend to be more susceptible to getting it. Women who have diabetes in their family, who have had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, who have had many miscarriages, or who have given birth to a stillborn baby are also at a higher risk for developing it.

How is gestational diabetes discovered?

Women who are at a high risk for developing this disease are tested when they first see a doctor for their pregnancy. It is a routine procedure to test all women between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. After drinking a very sugary drink, a blood sample is taken. If the glucose level is abnormally high, a repeat blood test is given after fasting.

How is this problem treated?

Controlling the diet is one of the main ways to treat gestational diabetes. The woman should also get enough exercise, and she will need to do a blood test several times each day to keep track of her blood sugar levels. Small meals throughout the day are recommended, and if these interventions do not control the diabetes, then the woman must take insulin.

Things to do to try to prevent gestational diabetes

Some of the most effective ways to prevent this disease are to lose weight before conceiving if you weigh more than your ideal weight. Eating healthy meals with 30% or less fat and plenty of fruits and vegetables is also important. Women should be active and get enough exercise before pregnancy, and they should have a thorough physical checkup, including a diabetes test. Then, if they know that they are diabetic before conceiving, they can work with their doctor to control the disease for the duration of the pregnancy.

Photo by John Nyboer

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...