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Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is found when a woman is pregnant. During pregnancy, the placenta produces a variety of hormones. Some of them may cause insulin resistance, resulting in diabetes. Out of every 100 pregnant women in the United States, three to eight get gestational diabetes. Although it usually disappears after delivery, the mother is at increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.

Untreated or uncontrolled gestational diabetes can affect the baby, such as

  • being born very large and with extra fat
  • low blood glucose right after birth
  • breathing problems


Treating gestational diabetes means taking steps to keep your blood glucose levels in a target range. That includes

  • a meal plan
  • physical activity
  • insulin (if needed)
Meal Plan

You will talk with a dietitian or a diabetes educator who will design a meal plan to help you choose foods that are healthy for you and your baby. You may be advised to

  • limit sweets
  • eat three small meals and one to three snacks every day
  • be careful about when and how much carbohydrate-rich food you eat
  • include fiber in your meals in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain crackers, cereals, and bread.
Physical Activity

Physical activity, such as walking, swimming and housework, can help you reach your blood glucose targets.


Some women with gestational diabetes need insulin, in addition to a meal plan and physical activity, to reach their blood glucose targets.



National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, USA