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About seven out of every 100 pregnant women in the United States get gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is diabetes that happens for the first time when a woman is pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after you have your baby. But it does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on. Your child is also at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Most women get a test to check for diabetes during their second trimester of pregnancy. Women at higher risk may get a test earlier.
If you already have diabetes, the best time to control your blood sugar is before you get pregnant. High blood sugar levels can be harmful to your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy - even before you know you are pregnant. To keep you and your baby healthy, it is important to keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible before and during pregnancy.
Either type of diabetes during pregnancy increases the chances of problems for you and your baby. To help lower the chances talk to your health care team about
- A meal plan for your pregnancy
- A safe exercise plan
- How often to test your blood sugar
- Taking your medicine as prescribed. Your medicine plan may need to change during pregnancy.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- Diabetes and Pregnancy (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in Spanish
- Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes and Pregnancy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- What I Need to Know about Gestational Diabetes (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
- Women Who Gain Weight Between Babies At Higher Risk for Diabetes (08/01/2017, HealthDay)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Am I at Risk for Gestational Diabetes? (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) - PDF
- After Delivery (American Diabetes Association) Also in Spanish
- Care during Pregnancy for Women with Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Mellitus (Beyond the Basics) (UpToDate)
- Diabetic Diet: MedlinePlus Health Topic (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
Statistics and Research
- Gestational Age, Infant Birth Weight, and Subsequent Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Mothers: Nurses' Health Study II (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Diet and Exercise May Reduce Risk of Gestational Diabetes (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
- Patient Access to Research (American Diabetes Association)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Diabetes, Gestational (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Interconception care for women with a history of gestational diabetes...
- Article: Different strategies for diagnosing gestational diabetes to improve maternal and...
- Article: Association Between Type of Screening for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and...
- Diabetes and Pregnancy -- see more articles
- Pregnancy in diabetics -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Diabetes Association
- Directory of Diabetes Organizations (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) - PDF
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Also in Spanish
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- Diabetes diet - gestational (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Did You Have Gestational Diabetes When You Were Pregnant? What You Need to Know (National Diabetes Education Program) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Gestational diabetes (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Gestational diabetes - self-care (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Glucose screening and tolerance tests during pregnancy (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Infant of diabetic mother (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish