10 January

Gestational diabetes

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Pregnant women are usually very concerned about their nutrition and if what they eat is enough for the health and growth of their baby. Although eating nutritious and staying active during pregnancy is the mantra for a healthy pregnancy. Some women may develop Gestational diabetes (GDM) during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.

About 2 to 6% women may develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is the result of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. These hormonal changes increase the insulin resistance in the body and this decreases the body's ability to use sugar from foods that we eat, specifically carbohydrates. When the body is unable to use all of the sugar from food, the mother's blood glucose levels can increase. High blood glucose levels may result in a large baby, making delivery difficult and can increase the risk of the mother developing high blood pressure.


Risk factors for GDM

  • Women who are overweight before becoming pregnant;
  • Women who have a family history of diabetes
  • Women who are over the age of 25
  • Women who have previously given birth to a large baby ( over 3.5 kgs)
  • Women who have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.


Screening for gestational diabetes

It is generally done between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy and requires an oral glucose tolerance test. This test involves drinking a liquid that contains glucose usually around 75 gas mixed with water, which causes blood glucose levels to rise within 30 to 60 minutes. A blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm about one hour and two hours after drinking the solution. If the blood glucose levels are more than 180 mg/dl in the first hour and more than 140 mg/dl in the second hour the test is considered positive. If your test results are not normal, you will have a similar test that requires you to fast beforehand. If this second test shows abnormal results, you have gestational diabetes.



Gestational diabetes is treatable! Most women have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies when they take the steps to control their condition. Planning your meals and making dietary changes and including physical activity (be sure to check with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise program) can help in reducing the blood sugar. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life, So it is important to continue with healthy lifestyle habits.


About our blogs

We have put together weekly developments during pregnancy. These articles are only for information. Every pregnancy is different and every woman's experience may be different. We also have articles relating to women's health, infertility and plan to add information about newborn care. Through the blogs, videos and our online consultation services, we are trying to empower mothers (as well as soon-to-be-moms) with health information which is easily understandable. Our mission is to help mothers have a happy pregnancy and a very happy postpartum experience. 

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Pregnancy brings a new meaning to the concept of beauty to a woman. It is a period of immense joy, excitement and anxiety. The feeling of carrying a little soul within you is beautiful.


Last modified on Monday, 06 August 2018 11:06
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.


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