What is Gestation diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common medical complications, occurring in nearly 200,000 US pregnancies each year. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) refers to diabetes that develops during pregnancy. The pregnant woman's body is unable to properly use her insulin which results in high blood sugars.

Why did I not have diabetes before I became pregnant?

Your metabolism changes when you are pregnant. In other words, the way your body reacts to, and uses, the food you eat changes. These changes are primarily due to the pregnancy hormones that are made by placenta. The pregnancy hormones can make it difficult for the insulin in your body to push sugar into the cells, as it would normally do.

How do I know if I have gestational diabetes?

Most pregnant women are screened for GDM at approximately 7 months gestation, or around 24-28 weeks. Most OB providers screen all their pregnant patients for gestational diabetes. Risk factors include: history of GDM, history of having large babies, family history of GDM, previously had a still birth, and obesity.

What happens is I am diagnosed with GDM?

Your Ob provider and a team of specialist, including a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist, will work with you. You may also be seen by a diabetes educator. Treatment includes dieting, exercise, and monitoring you blood sugar. In addition, you will need specialized sonograms to monitor your baby's growth and well-being. Those who have gestational diabetes may need to deliver a week early, depending upon their control.

What should I do if I have GDM?

You will need to work with your OB providers and MFM specialist throughout your pregnancy. If you do have gestational diabetes, you will need to:

  • Know your blood sugar levels
  • Keep a daily log of your blood sugar levels, food intake and exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Eat small meals with snacks in between
  • Work with diabetes educators to adjust your diet
  • Exercise, but only with your provider's approval
  • Regularly take your medication or insulin as prescribed

Will my GDM go away after I deliver?

Most likely, yes. It's important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet, as well as exercise regularly and stay at a healthy weight to prevent developing Type II diabetes.

Will GDM hurt me or my baby?

If GDM is well controlled, and blood sugars are normal, probably not. The more uncontrolled your diabetes is, and the higher you blood sugar levels, the more likely you are to develop problems.

For additional questions contact Obstetrix Medical Group of the Mountain States, at (208) 528-2925.