Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that women can get during pregnancy. Like other forms of diabetes, gestational diabetes can cause high blood sugar, which may result in serious pregnancy complications. The good news is, gestational diabetes can be managed, and pregnant mothers who get gestational diabetes can still deliver healthy babies.
It is not known what exactly causes gestational diabetes1. It can happen when your body does not make and use insulin, leading to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. Sometimes the hormone changes from pregnancy can make it harder for insulin to work. This is called insulin resistance.
There are certain risk factors that can make you more likely to get gestational diabetes, including but not limited to:
Gestational diabetes is also more likely to occur in American Indian, Asian American, Black, and Hispanic women2. If you feel that you may be at risk for developing gestational diabetes, tell your doctor or care team.
Women with gestational diabetes and their babies can experience several problems during pregnancy and after birth3. Some of these complications may include:
Making healthy habits now can help you avoid problems when you become pregnant. Staying active, eating healthy, and beginning your pregnancy at a healthy weight are all good actions to take.
If you do develop gestational diabetes, it can be treated. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting exercise can often take care of this condition successfully. Your doctor may also tell you to check your blood sugars daily and may have you take insulin or other medications.
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