Gestational (“jes-TAY-shon-al”) diabetes is a type of diabetes that some women develop during pregnancy. When you have diabetes, there is too much sugar (called glucose) in your blood.
If you develop gestational diabetes, it can lead to health problems for you and your baby during and after pregnancy. For example:
- Before birth, your baby is likely to grow bigger than usual. This could make giving birth more difficult – and make it more likely that you will have a caesarian delivery (C-section).
- After birth, your baby may be at risk for childhood obesity.
- You will be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. After your baby is born, you'll need to get tested regularly for type 2 diabetes.
If you have gestational diabetes, you and your doctor or midwife can work together to protect your health and your baby’s health. You can reduce your risk for gestational diabetes by eating healthy and staying active during your pregnancy.
Getting tested for gestational diabetes is part of regular prenatal care (health care during pregnancy). The test is usually done between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
What about cost?
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans must cover testing for gestational diabetes. Depending on your plan, you may be able to get screened at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to learn more.
What do I ask the doctor?
Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down before your appointment. Print this list of questions, and take it with you the next time you visit your doctor or midwife.
- What puts me at risk for gestational (“jes-TAY-shon-al”) diabetes?
- What can I do to lower my risk?
- How will you test me for gestational diabetes?
- How could gestational diabetes affect my baby’s health?
- How could gestational diabetes affect my health?
- If I have gestational diabetes, what happens next?