Pregnant women who develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes. During a normal pregnancy, the mother becomes more resistant to the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar. This ensures that the mother uses less blood sugar so that enough is available for the growth and development of the unborn baby.
Gestational diabetes occurs when the mother becomes overly resistant to insulin, so that her blood sugar levels and those of the unborn baby go too high.
These levels can result in a large baby and complications of birth and delivery, as well as an increased risk of subsequent development of Type 2 diabetes in the mother and the child. Gestational diabetes is often associated with excessive weight gain during pregnancy, pre-existing obesity, and high blood pressure.
You were overweight before you got pregnant
Your blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to have diabetes
Diabetes runs in your family
You have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
You are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American
The prevalence of gestational diabetes in the U.S. is as high as 9.2%.
Checking blood sugar levels four or more times a day
A dietary plan to reduce consumption of certain foods and to lower calorie intake
Your doctor will track your blood sugar and weight gain and let you know if you need to take insulin or other medicine for your gestational diabetes.
Urine tests that check for ketones, which can indicate uncontrolled diabetes
This test only requires a simple finger stick and can be performed in your physician’s office during the first or second trimester of your pregnancy.