diabetes mellitus (GDM) is high blood sugar diagnosed during pregnancy.
During pregnancy your body produces a new group of hormones. Some
of these hormones cause your blood sugar to rise slightly to help
provide nutrients for your baby. However, if blood sugar climbs
too high during pregnancy, the risk of complications will increase.
Excessively high blood sugars during pregnancy are always treated
because they increase risks for both mother and baby at time of
For Infants Caused By High Blood Sugar
- A birth
weight of more than 9 pounds
too large for a comfortable delivery
blood sugar after delivery
three out of every one hundred pregnant women will develop gestational
diabetes, however, some woman are at higher risk for it.
At Risk Of Gestational Diabetes
25 or older
history of diabetes
diabetes in a previous pregnancy
baby weighing more than 9 pounds
sugar test is the only way to tell if you have GDM. If you are
at higher risk for GDM your doctor may order blood sugar testing
more than once in your pregnancy. Most pregnant women are screened
for GDM once during the last half of their pregnancy, between 24
and 28 weeks gestation. This test involves drinking a sweet beverage
and having a laboratory blood test afterward to check blood sugar
levels. Normal blood sugar levels for pregnant women are about 60
- 130. Occasionally, a very high blood sugar result may suggest
that you had diabetes
mellitus before you became pregnant. If pre-existing diabetes
is suspected, your physician will discuss this possibility with
you and adjust medical care plans for your pregnancy.
For Gestational Diabetes
Maintaining blood sugar within the normal range is the goal
of treatment for GDM. Meeting this objective greatly reduces the
risks of complications. Once GDM is diagnosed, your physician should
send you to educators specializing in diabetes management. These
diabetes specialists, usually a nurse educator and a clinical dietitian,
will help you develop the tools you need to manage gestational diabetes.
These tools include learning to monitor your blood glucose using
a home glucometer. You will also learn some diet guidelines that
will help keep your blood sugar in the normal range.
Diet Guidelines for Gestational Diabetes
concentrated sugar sources:
including fruit juice, some cereals and sweets
smaller more frequent meals
smaller portions of carbohydrate rich foods.
For most women
with GDM, blood sugar monitoring and following guidelines
to manage dietary carbohydrate are the only treatments needed.
For some women, insulin treatment may be necessary to achieve desired
blood sugar targets.
women with Gestational Diabetes, high blood sugar usually ends after
the baby is born. As a way to confirm this, your doctor will probably
order a blood sugar test at the time of you postpartum check-up,
about six weeks after your baby is born. If you have GDM with one
pregnancy, you are likely to have it if you get pregnant again.
GDM does not interfere with a your ability to breastfeed.
It is important
to note, however, that up to 60% of women who have GDM will develop
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus within 10 years. Maintaining weight in
a normal range and exercising regularly can reduce this risk. Women
who have had GDM should have their blood sugar checked regularly
and before they become pregnant again.