Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that is first recognized during pregnancy. The condition occurs in approximately 4% of all pregnancies.
What Is Gestational Diabetes?
Diabetes can affect the developing fetus throughout the pregnancy. In early pregnancy, a mother's diabetes can result in birth defects and an increased rate of miscarriage.
Because gestational diabetes does not cause symptoms, you need to be tested for the condition.
Find out what causes gestational diabetes.
If you have had gestational diabetes before, or if your doctor is concerned about your risk of developing gestational diabetes, a test may be performed before the 13th week of pregnancy.
All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Screening may be done by taking the woman's medical history, examining certain risk factors, or screening with an oral glucose tolerance test.
If you have gestational diabetes, you will be asked to take certain dietary and lifestyle measures to keep your blood sugar at a safe level.
In some women, gestational diabetes cannot be prevented. But you may be able to lower your chance of getting gestational diabetes by staying at a healthy weight and not gaining too much weight during pregnancy.