What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy. Diabetes means a person’s blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Our bodies uses glucose for energy. Too much glucose in the blood is not good for pregnant women or their babies.
Managing gestational diabetes is very important in order to protect the baby. Babies born to mothers with uncontrolled gestational diabetes can be overly large at birth, making delivery more dangerous. These babies can also have breathing problems. Moreover, children exposed to diabetes in the womb are more likely to become obese during childhood and adolescence, and develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Usually, gestational diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, women who have had gestational diabetes are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life, so healthy eating, physical activity, and weight maintenance are important steps to prevention.
- Am I at Risk for Gestational Diabetes? [PDF-187KB] from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
- CDC's Diabetes and Pregnancy Website
- Diabetes and Pregnancy Booklet [PDF-1.24MB]
- Gestational Diabetes Fact Sheet [PDF-1.91MB]
- Gestational Diabetes Fact Sheet [PDF-629KB] (Spanish)
- Did You Have Gestational Diabetes When You Were Pregnant? What You Need To Know.
- Preconception Health and Diabetes…It Matters Fact Sheet [PDF-887KB]
- La salud antes de concebir (preconcepción) y la diabetes... es importante [PDF-650KB] (Spanish)
- What I Need to Know About Gestational Diabetes from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
- Women at High Risk for Diabetes Fact Sheet [PDF-844KB]
- Page last reviewed: October 21, 2015
- Page last updated: October 21, 2015
- Content source:
- Maintained By:
- National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Diabetes Translation