Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

Like other forms of diabetes, the disease is a condition where the body does not properly process food into energy resulting in high glucose (sugar) levels in their blood.  If untreated, complications can develop in both the unborn baby and the mother.

Gestational diabetes can occur in women who have had no prior diabetes related diagnosis and they may show any signs of the disease.

Causes & Signs

Researchers are unsure exactly what causes gestational diabetes but it is known that the placenta produces hormones that can cause high blood sugar and these hormones impede the mother’s production of insulin in her body.

A pregnant woman may not have any signs of diabetes but through blood tests as part of Rosmark’s prenatal care, the disease will become evident.  Common signs of diabetes include:

Some of these symptoms are typical with pregnancy, like nausea and weight gain, which is why blood tests confirm the disease.

Who is at risk?

Any woman may develop gestational diabetes but women who are at a higher risk include those who:

Effects of Gestational Diabetes

In the Baby

Gestational diabetes affects the baby late in the pregnancy when the baby is growing.  Complications in the baby may include:

In the Mother

Gestational diabetes can result in a few problems with the mother.  These complications may include:

Most women that develop gestational diabetes have a normal pregnancy and birth.  However, the risks are real. With a little effort and focus on exercise and proper nutrition, the complications are minimized.

After the Birth

With gestational diabetes, blood sugar levels usually return to normal for the mother after delivery but the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes is substantially higher.

If you have had gestational diabetes, it is important that you continue to work with your Rosemark healthcare provider to monitor and manage your blood sugar levels.