Diabetes may develop during pregnancy and affect the mother’s and baby’s health.
Gestational diabetes results when:
- The mother’s ability to use sugar (glucose) properly in her body is hampered by insulin resistance from hormones made by the placenta
- The pancreas cannot make additional insulin
Any woman can develop diabetes during pregnancy, although typically, this type of diabetes resolves after pregnancy.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- Family history of gestational diabetes
Good control of gestational diabetes is essential. If not controlled, high sugar levels in the mother can lead to:
- A larger than average baby
- Increased risk for cesarean section
- Increased risk for birth trauma
- The infant having a severe drop in blood sugar after delivery
- The infant developing hypoglycemia (Intravenous (IV) therapy with close monitoring of blood sugar levels may be necessary)
- Increased risk of maternal high blood pressure
Diet, exercise, and sometimes insulin or other medications may be necessary to ensure consistently normal sugar levels.
Your obstetrician may refer you to a diabetes education to monitor your progress and avoid serious problems during pregnancy.