What Is Gestational Diabetes?
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.
Gestational diabetes risk factors
Some factors before and during pregnancy can increase your risk of gestational diabetes, such as:
- Metabolic dysfunction.
- Family history of diabetes.
- Having gestational diabetes in the past.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Major weight gain during pregnancy.
- History of large baby (over 9 pounds).
Gestational diabetes complications
Effects on the mother
Gestational diabetes can increase the mother's risk of:
- A tough delivery.
- Pelvic floor injury
- Future type 2 diabetes.
Effects on the baby
Gestational diabetes also affects the baby, increasing their risk of:
- Being large (over nine pounds).
- Being born early.
- Delayed growth of some organs.
- Low blood sugar at birth.
- Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Preventing gestational diabetes
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.
Why Choose UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital for Gestational Diabetes Care?
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:
- Diabetes educators as part of maternal fetal medicine team.
- Telemedicine consults for women out in the community.
- Extensive experience and resources for women with gestational diabetes.
Learn more at UPMC's Center for Diabetes and Pregnancy. Or call 412-641-4200.