Skip to Content

Additional Content In This Section

Gestational Diabetes

gestationalGestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops or is first recognized during pregnancy. In some women, insulin resistance increases during pregnancy. If your pancreas cannot make enough insulin, you will have gestational diabetes. Most women are screened for gestation diabetes at 24-28 weeks. If you have a higher chance of getting gestational diabetes, your doctor may test you for diabetes during your first visit after you become pregnant. 

Your chances of getting gestational diabetes are higher if you:

  • Had a previous pregnancy with gestational diabetes
  • Have given birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latina or Pacific Islander American
  • Have a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS 

Gestational diabetes is usually treated with dietary management and control of blood sugar levels. Managing gestational diabetes is very important in order to protect the baby. Babies born to mothers with uncontrolled gestational diabetes can be overly large at birth, making delivery more dangerous. Children exposed to diabetes in the womb are more likely to become obese during childhood and adolescence, and develop type 2 diabetes later in life. 

Usually, gestational diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, women who have had gestational diabetes are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life, so healthy eating, physical activity and weight maintenance are important steps to prevention. 

Learn more about what to expect during pregnancy.