Gestational (“jes-TAY-shon-al”) diabetes is a type of diabetes that some women develop during pregnancy. When you have diabetes, there is too much glucose (sugar) in your blood.
If you develop gestational diabetes, it can lead to health problems for you and your baby during and after pregnancy. For example:
- Before birth, your baby is likely to grow bigger than usual. This could make giving birth more difficult – and make it more likely that you will have a caesarian section (C-section).
- After your baby is born, your baby may be at risk for childhood obesity.
- You will be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.
Usually there are no symptoms (signs) of gestational diabetes. That’s why it’s important for all pregnant women to get tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
If you have gestational diabetes, you and your doctor or midwife can work together to protect your health and your baby’s health.
Testing for gestational diabetes is covered under the Affordable Care Act. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screened at no cost to you.
What do I ask the doctor?
Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down before your appointment. Print this list of questions, and take it with you the next time you visit your doctor or midwife.
- What puts me at risk for gestational (“jes-TAY-shon-al”) diabetes?
- Is there anything I can do to lower my risk?
- How will you test me for gestational diabetes?
- How could gestational diabetes affect my baby’s health?
- How could gestational diabetes affect my health?
- If I have gestational diabetes, what happens next?