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What Happens When You Have Gestational Diabetes

Related Conditions And Causes Of Gestational Diabetes

What Happens After You Have Gestational Diabetes

Many people may not realize that type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes are different kinds of diabetes.

As previously mentioned, gestational diabetes is caused by the effects of placental hormones and develops only in pregnant women who didn’t have diabetes before becoming pregnant.

Type 1 Diabetes is when the pancreas doesnt produce insulin or makes very little insulin. It is believed to be caused by an immune reaction and cant yet be prevented. Type 1 diabetes occurs most often in children, teens, and young adults and often starts quickly and has severe symptoms. People with type 1 diabetes need to use insulin daily.

Type 2 Diabetes comes on gradually, developing over many years. It can be prevented or delayed with lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and eating a healthy diet. Type 2 diabetes mainly occurs in older adults, although kids, teenagers, and younger adults can develop it, as well.


Conditions that may increase the risk of gestational diabetes include obesity and PCOS.

ObesityPolycystic ovary syndrome Postpartum Depression Depression and Anxiety

Q What Does Having Gestational Diabetes Mean For My Future

A. As mentioned, your chance of developing gestational diabetes again in further pregnancies is increased. Plus the chance of you developing type 2 diabetes is also increased.

Following a healthy diet, keeping your weight at a safe level, and having regular physical activity will help to reduce your chances of these things happening. Your doctor will recommend that you also have your blood sugar levels checked yearly, or have a glucose tolerance test about every 2 years.

Why You Get Gestational Diabetes

You may be more likely to get this disease if:

  • You were overweight before you got pregnant extra weight makes it harder for your body to use insulin.
  • You gain weight very quickly during your pregnancy
  • You have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with diabetes this is called prediabetes.
  • You had gestational diabetes in a past pregnancy
  • You are over age 25
  • You gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • You had a baby who was stillborn
  • You have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome
  • You’re African-American, American Indian, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander


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Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors

Youâre more likely to get gestational diabetes if you:

  • Were overweight before you got pregnant
  • Are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Native American
  • Have blood sugar levels that are higher than they should be but not high enough to be diabetes
  • Have a family member with diabetes
  • Have had gestational diabetes before
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome or another health condition linked to problems with insulin

Will I Get Type 2 Diabetes

Just Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes What Happens Next ...

Because you had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of having type 2 diabetes. But it wonât definitely happen, and you can take action to prevent that.

Your blood sugar levels will likely return to normal about 6 weeks after childbirth. If it does, you should get follow-up tests every 3 years.

To lower your risk:

  • Try to keep your weight in a healthy range. Not sure what that is? Ask your doctor.
  • Eat a good diet that includes lots of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean protein.
  • Make exercise a habit.

If you plan to have another baby, keep in mind that you are more likely to get gestational diabetes again. Ask your doctor if there are any lifestyle changes that would help you avoid that.

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British Columbia Specific Information

Diabetes is a condition where your body is not able to regulate levels of glucose in your blood. This results in too much or too little sugar in your blood. There are 3 types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when your pancreas stops producing insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to use an insulin injector to make sure your body gets enough insulin. For more information about type 1 diabetes, visit the Diabetes Canada Living with Type 1 Diabetes web page.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not respond properly to the insulin it produces. Treatment includes medication and lifestyle changes to your diet and exercise routine. To learn more about how healthy eating can help you manage your blood sugar, see our Healthy Eating Diabetes and Hypoglycemia web page. For more information about diabetes, visit the Diabetes Canada Living with Type 2 Diabetes web page.

Gestational diabetes may occur during pregnancy if your level of blood glucose becomes too high. This may cause problems for you and your baby. Controlling blood sugar levels with treatment and a healthy lifestyle will minimize the risks. To learn more about healthy eating with gestational diabetes, see our Healthy Eating Guidelines for Women with Gestational Diabetes web page. For more information about diabetic screening when pregnant, visit BC Womens Hospital Diabetes and Pregnancy web page.

Q What Is The Treatment For Gestational Diabetes

A. Treatment for gestational diabetes will focus on bringing your blood glucose levels within the normal range and keeping tight control of them. Most women can achieve good control with diet and exercise, but others may have to take insulin.

Your doctor may refer you to a diabetes specialist and will probably advise that you see a dietitian or a diabetes educator to help you with your diet. They will be able to advise you about low glycaemic index foods, and ensure that your dietary intake is rich in vitamins and nutrients for your growing baby. While it is important not to over-eat, it is also important not to under-eat, as this too can affect the babys growth.

Getting 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week is safe and recommended for most pregnant women, including those with gestational diabetes. Your doctor or diabetes educator can advise you about what exercise you can do. Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to increase the amount of exercise you get. Try walking for 20 to 30 minutes 3 or 4 days a week to start with.

If diet and exercise measures dont give you good control of your blood glucose, your doctor may advise that you start on insulin.

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What If Your Blood Glucoses Are Well Controlled

If your glucoses were controlled on a diet, if you were on an oral medication, or you were on insulin, theres a good chance you may stop your medication entirely after you have your baby.

Sometimes you need to stay on a low dose of oral medication or a lower dose of insulin, but youre much more likely to not need medication after you have your baby. What will happen on this path is that at one of your postpartum visits, you will have another glucola test. Yummy! Glucola If this test is abnormal, then my friend, you have diabetes.

If your testing is normal, theres still a high risk of becoming diabetic over a period of time, so every year or two, you should have your primary care provider do a test called an A1c.

An A1c is a blood test that looks at your average blood glucose over about a three-month period of time. And if this is creeping up, you really need to start watching your diet again. Hopefully, you have continued to manage your diet all along.

Q Will I Have To Monitor My Blood Glucose Levels

What Happens in Gestational Diabetes?

A. Self-monitoring of your blood glucose levels is the best way of knowing whether you have achieved good control of your blood glucose levels. Usually you will be advised to take fasting measurements as well as measurements one to 2 hours after you have eaten. You should record all your results in a home glucose diary.

Measuring your blood glucose levels should be done 4 times per day to start with. If your blood glucose levels are well controlled, you may be able to start measuring your levels less frequently.

Monitoring of your blood glucose is done using a blood glucose meter. To get a drop of blood for monitoring, your finger is pricked with a special device. There are several different types of these devices available and they aim to make it as easy and as painless as possible.

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Gdm Can Have Nothing To Do With Your Weight

“Although obesity is certainly a risk factor for developing gestational diabetes, not all obese or overweight women will develop this condition,” says Mariam Naqvi, M.D., an OB/GYN with a sub-specialization in maternal-fetal medicine and director of the diabetes program at Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates in New York City.

Gestational diabetes often has less to do with weight and more to do with the way our bodies process glucose. During pregnancy, Dr. Naqvi adds, our cells are not as sensitive to insulin, which is the hormone that moves glucose into the blood.

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Second Blood Sugar Test:

If you fail the routine blood sugar test, the next step is having another fasting blood sugar test. Cue that super sweet liquid again, but this time sweeter and more of it. You will also have to wait at the lab for 3 hours and have your blood drawn thrice, at the hour mark. This test will verify your results. Having been diagnosed during Covid-19, I had mine done at a lab outside the hospital, and had to wait in my car and go back and forth between blood letting sessions. If this happens to you, make sure you download some shows and dress for the weather. You cannot drink water until after the test is complete.

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How Does Gd Affect Your Baby After Birth

Babies who are born to mothers with gestational diabetes should be tested for low blood sugar , even if they have no symptoms, with a simple blood test after birth. This happens immediately after delivery, while you and baby are still in the hospital.

After birth, its essential to keep the focus you had during pregnancy on a healthy lifestyle for your whole family you may find that it helps you stick to your resolutions as well.

Teach your child good eating and exercise habits early on: If you had gestational diabetes, your baby could be at a higher risk for health problems, including obesity as a child or teen and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes later in life, according to the CDC.

To help avoid a type 2 diabetes diagnosis for your child, aim to ensure that he or she:

  • Eats nutritious meals. The same diet you follow during pregnancy and beyond is good for your child, too. When he gets old enough, have him help you in the kitchen children who help prepare dishes are more likely to eat them.
  • Gets plenty of exercise as he grows. Start by taking walks. As he gets older, toddler soccer and other activities are a great way to get him interested in healthy movement.
  • Maintains a healthy weight. Talk to his pediatrician to make sure his BMI is on target, and talk openly to him about healthy weight and the increase in obesity he might notice in school.

Can You Prevent Gestational Diabetes

Just Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes What Happens Next ...

Gestational diabetes is common. It affects at least 45 in 100 women during pregnancy.. Some women have a higher risk of developing it.

You cant prevent it but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. This includes managing your weight, eating healthily and keeping active before pregnancy.

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Gestational Diabetes And Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant. Some women have more than one pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually shows up in the middle of pregnancy. Doctors most often test for it between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Often gestational diabetes can be controlled through eating healthy foods and regular exercise. Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must also take insulin.

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Will Gestational Diabetes Go Away After Pregnancy

Most womens blood sugar levels come down after they give birth and hormone levels return to normal. But about 50% of women with gestational diabetes develop Type 2 diabetes later in life. Diet and exercise can help lower your risk. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood glucose tests every six to 12 weeks after pregnancy to watch for diabetes.

How Will It Affect My Baby

Gestational Diabetes – Overview, signs and symptoms, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment

Your higher blood sugar affects your baby, too, since they gets nutrients from your blood. Your baby stores that extra sugar as fat, which can make them grow larger than normal. They’re more likely to have certain complications:

  • Injuries during delivery because of their size

Your blood sugar will probably return to normal after you give birth. But you’ll have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later or gestational diabetes again with another pregnancy. A healthy lifestyle can lower the odds of that happening. Just as you can help your child, you can lower your own chances of obesity and diabetes.

Although you may need a C-section, many women with gestational diabetes have regular vaginal births. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your delivery options:

  • Does my baby need to be delivered by C-section?
  • How accurate are birth-weight estimates? Could my baby be smaller than you think?
  • What are the risks to my baby and I if I donât have a C-section?
  • What are the risks to us if I do?

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Can Gestational Diabetes Cause Problems During Pregnancy

Yes. If not treated, GDM can cause pregnancy complications, including:

Gestational diabetes also can cause health complications for your baby after birth, including:

  • Breathing problems, including respiratory distress syndrome . This is a breathing problem caused when babies dont have enough surfactant in their lungs. Surfactant is a protein that keeps the small air sacs in the lungs from collapsing.
  • Jaundice. This is a medical condition in which a babys eyes and skin look yellow. A baby has jaundice when his liver isn’t fully developed or isnt working well.
  • Low blood sugar
  • Obesity later in life

How Gestational Diabetes Can Affect Your Baby

When you have gestational diabetes, you must tightly control your blood glucose level. Talk to your healthcare professional regarding your individual blood glucose goals. Poorly controlled blood glucose levelsthat stay too high for too longcan cause complications for your baby.

Just because youve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, that isnt a guarantee that your baby will have all of these complications. This is a list of what may happen if you dont manage gestational diabetes.

Heres how gestational diabetes can affect your baby at birth and right after birth:

Heres how gestational diabetes can affect your child later on:

  • Development problems: Researchers have noticed that children whose mothers had gestational diabetes are at a higher risk for developmental problems, such as language development and motor skill development.

  • Type 2 diabetes: Babies born of mothers with gestational diabetes are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

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Who’s At Risk Of Gestational Diabetes

Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you’re at an increased risk if:

  • your body mass index is above 30 use the BMI healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI
  • you previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg or more at birth
  • you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • 1 of your parents or siblings has diabetes
  • you are of south Asian, Black, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern origin

If any of these apply to you, you should be offered screening for gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.

You Should Be Tested For Diabetes After Pregnancy

The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Gestational Diabetes

After you deliver the baby, you still need to monitor your blood sugar. You should be tested for diabetes six to twelve weeks after the baby is born. After that, you should get tested every one to three years. Half of all women who had gestational diabetes later develop type 2 diabetes. Continuing to eat well and exercise can reduce your risk.

At Green Valley OB/GYN, we want to make sure you and your future baby get the best care possible to promote good health for you both. If you have concerns about pregnancy, whether it be gestational diabetes or something else, call us at 378-1110 to schedule an appointment.

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