What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. A pregnant woman that has gestational diabetes has unusually high blood sugar levels and needs close monitoring by her health care provider. High blood sugar can harm you and your baby if left uncontrolled.
Who can get Gestational Diabetes?
Anyone can develop gestational diabetes during a pregnancy. There are several conditions that increase the risk:
- If you are African American, Hispanic or Pacific Islander
- If you are overweight or obese
- If you are related to anyone who has diabetes now, or had diabetes in their lifetime
- If you have ever had a history of high blood sugar
- If you are older than 25
- If you have had a previous stillbirth or very large baby (greater than 8 lbs. 13 oz.)
Why do I need to worry about Gestational Diabetes?
High blood sugar in pregnancy can lead to:
- Infant death
- Premature birth
- High blood-pressure
How do I find out if I have Gestational Diabetes?
Ask your doctor for a blood sugar test now if you have two or more of the risk factors listed above. If you are at average risk, your doctor may test you when you are 24 to 28 weeks' pregnant.