Gestational diabetes is a disorder in which women that
previously did not carry diabetes test positive for high
blood glucose levels during their pregnancy.
But just what does this diagnosis mean to the health and
welfare of the mother and her unborn child?
Since no specific cause has been identified for gestational
diabetes, scientists don’t know how to prevent it. The
closest they have come to understanding is that it is
believed that hormones produced during pregnancy reduce a
woman’s sensitivity to insulin and the result is high blood
Every pregnant woman is tested for gestational diabetes
during her prenatal care visits because generally there are
very few symptoms.
If the mother has gestational diabetes, babies are at a
higher risk for complications. These are typically growth
abnormalities and low blood sugar.
The good thing is that gestational diabetes is completely
reversible and women who otherwise have good control over
their glucose levels can decrease the risk of these birth
In fact, women who can keep their gestational diabetes
under complete control are known to give birth to perfectly
The down side is women who develop gestational diabetes
during their pregnancy now run a higher risk of developing
type 2 diabetes post-pregnancy. Some children are prone to
develop childhood obesity and develop type 2 diabetes later
Pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes are
generally treated with diet modification and exercise, but
in some extreme cases they are administered an
anti-diabetic drug, such as insulin. The goal of treatment
is to reduce the risks for both m other and child without