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What is Gestational Diabetes?

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 10 percent of pregnant women in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes each year. With such high statistics, it is important for expectant mothers to understand the condition and how it can affect the health of mom and baby.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

The American Pregnancy Association describes gestational diabetes as a temporary form of diabetes that inhibits the body’s ability to produce appropriate amounts of insulin, which is required to regulate blood sugar, during pregnancy. In most cases, women who develop this form of diabetes have their blood sugar levels return to normal after delivering their baby.

Some common symptoms that may suggest the presence of gestational diabetes include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Unusually high thirst
  • Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Frequent vaginal and skin infections
  • Sugar in urine when tested

It also is important to note that these symptoms don’t definitely mean that you have gestational diabetes. If you have any of these symptoms, it is advised that you speak with your obstetrician.

Who is at Risk for Gestational Diabetes?

The following factors can increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy:

  • Being overweight
  • Leading an inactive lifestyle
  • Having prediabetes
  • Previously having gestational diabetes
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Previously delivering a baby weighing nine pounds or more
  • Women who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian

Managing Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Because gestational diabetes has the potential to cause harm to both you and your baby, it is essential that you do your best to manage the condition if you do develop it. Your obstetrician may suggest a special diet, getting regular physical activity and may even ask you to do daily blood sugar testing and, if necessary, insulin injections.

Maternity Services in Northeast Ohio

At Southwest General Health Center, we are prepared to work closely with you to have the most optimal birthing experience possible. Helping patients welcome new members to their families is one of the most joyous services we provide, and our compassionate staff is honored to play a role in this tremendous journey.

To learn more about our services for expectant mothers or to schedule an appointment, visit our website.