To make an appointment with a maternal fetal medicine expert, call 412-641-6361.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and goes away after giving birth.
During pregnancy, hormone changes hinder how your body uses insulin as it normally does when you're not pregnant. Gestational diabetes occurs when your blood sugar is too high during pregnancy because of excess resistance to insulin.
About 5 to 10 percent of women get gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Some factors before and during pregnancy can increase your risk of gestational diabetes, such as:
Gestational diabetes can increase the mother's risk of:
Gestational diabetes also affects the baby, increasing their risk of:
The best way to prevent gestational diabetes is to achieve a normal body weight and form healthy eating habits before getting pregnant.
Mothers should also try to follow guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy.
UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital cares for more than 800 women with diabetes during pregnancy each year.
To make sure both mom and baby are safe, we offer:
Learn more at UPMC's Center for Diabetes and Pregnancy. Or call 412-641-4200.
Gestational diabetes doesn't have any symptoms, which is why every woman gets a test during pregnancy.
You'll have testing around 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. If you're at higher risk, your doctor may test you sooner.
Your doctor will order a few tests to check for gestational diabetes.
This is the first test every woman has to screen for diabetes where:
If your blood glucose measures high — above 135 — you'll need to come back for the oral glucose tolerance test.
For this test:
Two or more high-glucose results confirm gestational diabetes.
It's vital to manage diabetes throughout your pregnancy to prevent problems to you and your baby.
You'll need to check your blood sugar and follow an eating plan that helps keep your blood sugar under control. Daily physical activity will also help reduce risks from gestational diabetes.
A diabetes educator can create a meal plan with you or provide you with basic guidance on managing diabetes during your pregnancy.
Your diet should include:
Avoid foods high in sugar or simple carbohydrates, such as:
Women who have gestational diabetes are about 50 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within the next 15 years.
It's crucial to maintain a healthy weight after pregnancy and to continue healthy eating habits.
Breastfeeding can help decrease a women's risk of long term type 2 diabetes.
You should have a blood glucose test every few years to detect diabetes or prediabetes early.