Gestational Diabetes

A condition during pregnancy where the body is resistant to the insulin produced.

Diabetes that is first diagnosed or first develops during pregnancy. It affects 2% to 4% of all pregnancies. Blood glucose levels usually return to normal following delivery. Both mother and child are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

In pregnancy, the changing hormones and effects of a growing baby can result in you not being able to produce enough insulin. When you don’t have enough insulin, sugar begins to build up in your blood and cause symptoms of diabetes. All women should be tested for gestational diabetes before 28 weeks of pregnancy.

It is important to remember that this does not mean your baby will be born with diabetes, and with proper management you can expect a healthy, happy baby.

Risk Factors

  • Being over the age of 35
  • Being part of a high-risk population (Asian, South East Asian, Aboriginal, Hispanic, or African)
  • Being obese (BMI of 30kg/m2 or higher)
  • Having previously given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth
  • Having gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • Being diagnosed with prediabetes
  • Having a family member (parent or sibling) with type 2 diabetes
  • Using corticosteroid medications
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

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In the past ten years, rates of gestational diabetes have risen by 50%.