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Diabetes and Pregnancy

pregnant woman sitting at computer desk

Type 1 or type 2 diabetes can affect women in childbearing years. Also,women without a prior diagnosis of diabetes may develop diabetes during pregnancy. 

There are three common types of diabetes: 

  • Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body makes no insulin or so little insulin that the body cannot change blood sugar into energy.  Type 1 diabetes usually develops during childhood or adolescence, before a woman gets pregnant.
  • Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body makes too little insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes to change blood sugar into energy.  Type 2 diabetes often occurs after childbearing age, although it is becoming more common for childbearing-aged women to develop type 2 diabetes.

In a woman with preexisting diabetes (which includes type 1 and type 2), blood sugar that remains high can trigger or worsen certain health problems.  Click here for more information. 

Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first diagnosed in a pregnant woman. Out of every 100 pregnant women in the U.S. two to ten will have gestational diabetes.  Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy, but if it does not go away, it is known as type 2 diabetes.  Many women who have gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes later.  Click here for more information about the risk factors for and complications of gestational diabetes. 

Learn more about diabetes and pregnancy from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Diabetes Association.