Gestational Diabetes

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

During the second half of pregnancy, some women develop gestational diabetes. This disease occurs when a woman’s body is temporarily unable to create or use insulin, the hormone that processes sugar (glucose).

Testing Glucose in Pregnancy

Although you may not notice symptoms, your doctor will likely advise a routine glucose test sometime between weeks 24 and 28 of your pregnancy. Other forms of diabetes often require fasting before your blood sugar is tested, but the glucose test during pregnancy is different. You’ll quickly drink a specially sweetened beverage that will raise your glucose level within an hour. Then a blood test will measure how well your body responds to the increase in sugar.

Keeping Your Baby Safe

Ignoring gestational diabetes can cause serious risks for your baby, including premature birth, respiratory problems, and dangerously high birth weight. It also puts your baby at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

If you have gestational diabetes, you’ll need to pay special attention to your diet and exercise. Your doctor may also advise medication or injections of insulin to help regulate your blood sugar levels.