What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops for the first time during pregnancy. During pregnancy, there is resistance to the effects of insulin, thus predisposing some woman to develop diabetes. Gestational diabetes is partly related to the secretion by the placenta of hormones that promote higher blood glucose levels. Gestational diabetes develops when the pancreas is not able to compensate for the insulin resistance caused by these placental hormones. Gestational diabetes is commonly diagnosed with a glucose tolerance test that is done at 24-28 weeks of gestation. Treatment of gestational diabetes can decrease the chance of having a large baby (over 9 lbs) as well as other complications with the mother. Also, women who develop gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life and will need to be closely followed. You should discuss any concerns that you have about gestational diabetes with your healthcare provider .