I'm not diabetic, but my doctor told me that I have gestational diabetes. What
does that mean? And will it last beyond my pregnancy? – Pat
Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that comes on during pregnancy. When
a woman has it, her blood sugar levels are high. That makes the unborn baby's blood
sugar levels higher too. Most pregnant women have a glucose
screening for gestational diabetes at 24 to 28 weeks.
A big worry about gestational diabetes is what it can do to a baby. Babies born
to mothers who have gestational diabetes are more likely to:
have low blood levels of calcium or glucose
just after they're born
These and other kinds of problems from gestational diabetes can make babies need
to stay in the hospital longer for extra treatment.
If you have gestational diabetes, your doctor will probably start you on a treatment
plan. Most women can get their blood sugar levels under control with a healthy
food plan and daily exercise.
Some women also need to take daily insulin shots and test their blood sugar until
they give birth.
Gestational diabetes usually goes away after a baby is born. A mom may get it again
during future pregnancies, though. Some women who have it will develop diabetes when
Sometimes a woman may have had diabetes before the pregnancy but not know it. When
that happens, the diabetes does not go away after the baby is born.