What happens when you get gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that happens during pregnancy. About 15 percent of moms-to-be all over the world develop gestational diabetes, which makes it a relatively common symptom of pregnancy.
While gestational diabetes usually disappears after pregnancy, you may have a higher risk of developing it in your next pregnancy, as well as type 2 diabetes in the future. Having gestational diabetes may also put your baby at a higher risk of developing diabetes or obesity later on in life.
Why does gestational diabetes occur?
Gestational diabetes happens when you are not able to produce enough insulin or if your cells cannot respond to insulin to handle the blood sugar in your body. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may also increase your body’s resistance to insulin. This can lead to your blood sugar or glucose levels rising, causing gestational diabetes.
How can you cut your risk of gestational diabetes?
Your doctor will screen you for gestational diabetes as part of a routine check-up, but you can also pave the way for your baby to have a healthy life right from the start with these few tips:
- Stick to a healthy diet. Limit your fat intake to less than 30 percent of your daily calories and your consumption of highly refined carbohydrates that are full of added sugars.
- Watch your portion size and eat the right amount of calories for each trimester.
- Aim for a healthy weight gain in each trimester.
- Get moving for 30 minutes daily, at least. Exercise allows your body to burn off glucose and keep your blood sugar in check, but check with your doctor on which exercises are safe for your pregnancy.
- Diabetes in Pregnancy - International Diabetes Federation
- Mayo Clinic: Gestational Diabetes
- NHS: Gestational diabetes - Complications
- American Diabetes Association: What is Gestational Diabetes?
- National Institue of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: What causes gestational diabetes?
- Gestational Diabetes - American Diabetes Association
- Carbohydrates - CDC
- Healthy Weight During Pregnancy - Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics
- Cleaveland Clinic: Gestational Diabetes