Learn more about the type of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy.
Every pregnant woman in a doctor’s care is screened for gestational diabetes. Unlike Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. It’s usually screened for and diagnosed around the 24th week of pregnancy. The test is a very simple blood test. Diabetes of any kind can be very dangerous for the unborn baby during pregnancy. It’s important for gestational diabetes to be diagnosed and managed by your doctor.
What is gestational diabetes?
According to The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, diabetes means your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. When a pregnant woman’s glucose is too high, it can harm mother and baby. Gestational diabetes is known for causing high birth weights. It can also cause birth defects or even death.
Who is at risk for gestational diabetes
While any woman can get gestational diabetes, some women are more at risk than others. Obesity, a history of giving birth to large babies, family members with diabetes and a history of gestational diabetes increase risk. African American, American Indian, Asian American, Latina, and Pacific Islander American are also at increased risk. You can lower your risk by maintaining a healthy weight and diet, but you should not try to lose weight during pregnancy.
Does gestational diabetes persist after pregnancy?
For most women, gestational diabetes ends after delivery. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that half of all women who had gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes later. Talk to your doctor about managing your risk of diabetes through diet and lifestyle changes.
Pregnant or trying to conceive? Learn more about maternity care at Mercy Hospital. You can also give our 24-hour Baby Helpline a call at (305) 285-2159.