Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnancy hormones and weight gain block a woman’s body's ability to use insulin properly. This type of diabetes can effect women who have never had diabetes. Gestational diabetes may affect as many as 7% of pregnant women.1 This type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born.
Gestational diabetes can lead to high blood pressure for the mother and high birth weight for the baby. There is also an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes for both you and your baby in the future. Your baby may also be at higher risk of childhood obesity.2
You can reduce these risks by maintaining a reasonable weight, staying physically active and making healthy food choices. Breast-feeding may lower your baby’s risk for type 2 diabetes as well. See your healthcare professional to create a management plan that is right for you and your baby.
1American Diabetes Association. Gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care 2003;26:S103-S105. Available at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/26/suppl_1/s103. Accessed October 16, 2008.
2International Diabetes Federation. Who gets diabetes? Available at: http://www.idf.org/home/index.cfm?unode=3B96880C-C026-2FD3-87046988B851BC00. Accessed November 12, 2008