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Diabetes and Pregnancy

Also called: Gestational diabetes

Summary

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. When you are pregnant, high blood sugar levels are not good for your baby.

About seven out of every 100 pregnant women in the United States get gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is diabetes that happens for the first time when a woman is pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after you have your baby. But it does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on. Your child is also at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Most women get a test to check for diabetes during their second trimester of pregnancy. Women at higher risk may get a test earlier.

If you already have diabetes, the best time to control your blood sugar is before you get pregnant. High blood sugar levels can be harmful to your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy - even before you know you are pregnant. To keep you and your baby healthy, it is important to keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible before and during pregnancy.

Either type of diabetes during pregnancy increases the chances of problems for you and your baby. To help lower the chances talk to your health care team about

  • A meal plan for your pregnancy
  • A safe exercise plan
  • How often to test your blood sugar
  • Taking your medicine as prescribed. Your medicine plan may need to change during pregnancy.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Diagnosis and Tests

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) - PDF

Treatments and Therapies

  • (American Diabetes Association) Also in
  • (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists) - PDF Also in

Living With

Related Issues

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • (American Diabetes Association) Also in

Statistics and Research

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
  • (American Diabetes Association)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Patient Handouts

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