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What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy. Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how the cells use sugar.

Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes.


Are you at risk?

Although the condition can strike any pregnant woman, there are several factors that could increase your chances of developing it. These include:

  1. Family history of diabetes
  2. Obesity prior to pregnancy
  3. History of birthing big babies
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Excess amniotic fluid
  6. History of unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth
  7. Personal history of gestational diabetes
  8. Insulin resistance: The placenta supports the baby as it grows. Hormones from the placenta help the baby develop. But these hormones also block the action of the mother's insulin in her body. This problem is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother's body to use insulin. She may need up to three times as much insulin.