Gestational Diabetes FAQs
The following information is concise and simple to give a general understanding of gestational diabetes. None of the information on this site can replace medical information or advice.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
In a nutshell, gestational diabetes is high blood sugar in pregnant women, and it is managed with diet, exercise, and sometimes the assistance of medication.
Who can get Gestational Diabetes and why?
Any pregnant woman can get gestational diabetes; whether healthy, young, overweight, vegetarian, first pregnancy or fourth. There is no known direct cause.
Can Gestational Diabetes be prevented?
Not necessarily. Each body is different and it undergoes various changes during pregnancy. Although there are risk factors that heighten your chance of developing it, it does not mean that you won’t. Neither proper diet, exercise, genetics, perfect health, nor any factor before pregnancy will exempt a woman from developing gestational diabetes.
How do I know if I have Gestational Diabetes?
Your OB/GYN will give you a glucose test, likely at the beginning of your 3rd trimester, or perhaps earlier at their discretion. There is controversy surrounding the glucose drink method. You do have the option to not be tested at all, or to choose an alternative method.
I have Gestational Diabetes; now what?
Understand that it’s not your fault! Your body is undergoing various changes while growing a little human inside!
Your OB/GYN will likely refer you to an endocrinologist and nutritionist/dietitian, and you will have to test your blood sugar a few times a day. The nutritionist will outline a diet best suited for you based on your glucose test result, and the endocrinologist will monitor your blood sugar numbers and the baby’s growth. If you are waiting for your referral appointments, you can visit our Gestational Diabetes Diet and 5 Tips to Get Started pages to get a head start.
The goal is to keep your blood sugars within range to protect the baby in utero, during birth and after, and to lessen your chance of developing Type II Diabetes postpartum.
Where can I learn more?
There is common information listed on our Gestational Diabetes Diet page. Your doctors can give you reading materials. We found “Real Food for Gestational Diabetes: An Effective Alternative to the Conventional Nutrition Approach” to be a great, plainly-stated, in-depth resource.