Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It is caused by pregnancy hormones from the placenta that increase insulin resistance. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born.
Our Gestational diabetes class will give you the tools to manage your diabetes during pregnancy. We review blood sugar monitoring, meal planning, possible complications from uncontrolled blood sugars, physical activity and if needed, education on medication management.
Having gestational diabetes puts you at a 40-60% increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes within the next 5-10 years. It’s important to be screened for diabetes every 1-2 years after the baby is born.
Hamilton Diabetes Treatment Centerʼs staff of Registered Nurses and Registered Dietitians are Certified Diabetes Educators who work with you and your doctor to create an individualized care plan that promotes the health of you and your baby.
Our gestational diabetes program includes:
- Nutritional counseling and adjustment of meal plan
- Instruction on home blood glucose monitoring
- Exercise counseling
- Insulin instruction, if necessary
The staff is available to answer questions and to provide more information at any time during your pregnancy or immediately after you have given birth.
WHAT IS GESTATIONAL DIABETES?
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and disappears after the delivery of the baby. Gestational diabetes develops when the pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to cover your needs during pregnancy.
WHAT CAUSES GESTATIONAL DIABETES?
The exact cause of gestational diabetes is not known. Many people believe it occurs because of something they have done wrong, such as eating too many sweets. This is not true. Certain factors tend to increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes:
- Being 25 years of age or older
- Being overweight
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Having previously delivered a baby weighing nine pounds or more
- Being a member of a high-risk group for having diabetes, including Latino (Hispanic American), African American, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander. Gestational diabetes can be hard to detect because there are usually no symptoms. However, most healthcare practitioners recommend screening all pregnant women who are at risk for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of the pregnancy.
HOW IS GESTATIONAL DIABETES MANAGED?
Because every pregnancy is different, talk with your physician about the best care plan for you and your baby. Usually, gestational diabetes is managed by:
- A well-balanced meal plan designed by a clinician specially trained in diabetes and nutrition
- Regular exercise (only under the advice of your doctor)
- Frequent blood glucose monitoring
WILL I HAVE TO TAKE INSULIN?
It is not uncommon for insulin injections to be required during pregnancy. Insulin injections are not usually required after the baby is born.
WILL I DEVELOP DIABETES LATER?
In 98% of all women diagnosed with gestational diabetes, blood glucose levels go back to normal when the baby is born. However, it is important to discuss the risk factors with your doctor and have your blood glucose tested at your 6-week postpartum visit. In order to maintain blood glucose control and to reduce the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes after the delivery of you baby, meal plan counseling and follow up are available.