Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs for the first time when a woman is pregnant and normally disappears after birth.

The changes and weight gain associated with pregnancy may make it hard for the body to keep up with its need for insulin. As a result glucose builds up in the blood. Too much glucose in the blood can be harmful to the baby.

Women with gestational diabetes have to control blood glucose levels to minimise risks to the baby. This can be done through a healthy diet but insulin or oral medication may also be needed.

Women who have had gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Babies born to women who had gestational diabetes have a higher risk of obesity and developing Type 2 diabetes as adults.

Gestational diabetes is increasing throughout the world.