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4 Questions About Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that happens only during pregnancy (gestation). Changes that occur in your body during pregnancy cause your blood sugar (glucose) to be too high. It can put you and your baby at risk for problems. The good news is it can be managed with the right care.

When do I know if I have gestational diabetes?

Between 24 and 28 weeks, most women will be tested for gestational diabetes. This test helps your doctor find out if you’re at risk for gestational diabetes. It tests how your body manages sugar and carbohydrates during your pregnancy.

What are the risks?

As many as 1 in 20 pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, you have a higher risk of preeclampsia, which is a serious type of high blood pressure during pregnancy. You also have the risk of developing diabetes later in life. The risks to baby include the chance of being born too early, breathing problems, and having a higher chance of getting diabetes or being overweight as kids.

What can I do if I do have gestational diabetes?

Your doctor will help you keep your blood sugar levels in a good range. You can also:

  • Follow special meal plans.
  • Exercise.
  • Keep weight gain within the range your doctor suggests.
  • If your doctor prescribes insulin, learn how it works.

What happens after baby is born?

It is a good idea to check your blood sugar several times after the baby is born (not every day), to make sure your blood sugar has returned to a non-diabetic range.

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