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Gestational Diabetes & Pregnancy: 5 Things You Need to Know

Pregnancy is beautiful and amazing, but it can also be scary. One of the biggest concerns for pregnant women is developing gestational diabetes. This condition can cause serious problems for both mother and child. So, it’s important to know what it is and how to manage it.

Gestational diabetes can be a real bummer. But don’t worry. We’re here to help! We’ve put together a list of the top five things you need to know about gestational diabetes and pregnancy.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Pregnancy is a wonderful time. It’s also a time when you should be especially mindful of your health and the importance of good nutrition and exercise.

If you’re pregnant, it’s important to know about gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. The condition develops when the body’s pancreas struggles to produce enough insulin to meet the mother’s and baby’s needs.

Gestational diabetes affects about 2%-10% of all pregnancies in the United States. Moreover, women who have had gestational diabetes in one pregnancy have a 30% chance of developing it again with the next pregnancies.

Moreover, diabetes increases the risk of miscarriage, birth defects, and preeclampsia. It can also cause complications during labor and delivery, including cesarean section and preeclampsia (high blood pressure).

What Causes GD?

Gestational Diabetes (GD) is a condition that occurs in some women during pregnancy. It’s caused by your body not producing enough insulin to metabolize sugar properly.

When you’re pregnant, your body needs more insulin to make sure your baby gets the nutrients they need. Your pancreas is supposed to produce enough insulin so that all of the sugar that enters your bloodstream gets used or stored as energy. During GD, your pancreas can’t keep up with the demand. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise above normal levels and can lead to complications in both mother and baby.

What Are The Risks Factors Of GD?

The following factors can increase your risk of developing GD:


You’re more likely to develop GD if someone else in your family has it or if you have type 2 diabetes before pregnancy.


Being overweight or obese is one of the biggest risk factors for developing GD because fat cells produce extra hormones called cytokines that can interfere with insulin production and cause insulin resistance.


People who are over 40 years old are more likely to develop GD than younger women because their bodies may be less able to make enough insulin or respond properly during pregnancy.

What are the Complications of Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a common condition that affects many pregnant women. It can also be dangerous if not treated properly. Hence, it’s important to know the risks and complications of gestational diabetes so you can take steps to avoid them.

Excessive Birth Weight

Excessive birth weight is one of the most common complications of gestational diabetes, and it’s important to understand why. Moreover, excessive birth weight is a term used to describe babies who are born weighing more than 9 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams). This can happen if your baby is growing too quickly during pregnancy.

Why does this happen? It all comes down to blood sugar levels in the mother before she gives birth. With gestational diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly to break down sugar in your bloodstream. This means there’s a lot of glucose left over in your body that your baby needs to grow properly inside the womb. The excess glucose then causes inflammation and damage to both you and your fetus. This can lead directly or indirectly to complications like excessive birth weight or even stillbirths.

Preterm Birth

Preterm birth is one of the most common complications of gestational diabetes. It is when a baby is born earlier than 37 weeks into the pregnancy. This can be dangerous for both mom and baby, who are not yet ready for birth. Babies who are born too early often have breathing problems, as well as other issues like low birth weight and small size.


Preeclampsia is a condition that causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine. It can be deadly for both mother and baby. The condition usually develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but it can develop earlier than that. This condition can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby.


When you’re expecting a baby, you want to be prepared for every possible outcome. But when it comes to gestational diabetes, one of the most common complications is stillbirth.

Stillbirth happens when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It’s scary because it can happen so suddenly. Moreover, there are no signs or symptoms to warn you that your baby may be in danger before it’s too late.

However, it’s important to know that not all stillbirths are due to gestational diabetes. Stillbirths can happen for a variety of reasons. But suppose you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. In that case, your doctor will likely monitor you more closely and may recommend additional tests or interventions to help increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

How Can You Prevent GD?

When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes some pretty dramatic changes. Many of those changes are good—like the fact that you have a little human growing inside you! But some changes aren’t so great—like the fact that your blood sugar levels can rise. When this happens, it can cause complications like gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes isn’t something to take lightly. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems for both mom and baby. So how can you prevent gestational diabetes? Here are some tips:

Eat healthy foods

One of the best ways to prevent gestational diabetes is to eat a healthy diet. You may be surprised to know that many women develop gestational diabetes because they are eating too much sugar, fat, and carbohydrates. These things can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and make it difficult for your body to produce enough insulin.

A healthy diet is one that focuses on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein. You should avoid processed foods and sugary drinks. You should also make sure that you are getting enough fiber and vitamin D. These nutrients support your body, regulate insulin levels and keep your blood sugar stable.

Be Active

If you’re pregnant, it’s important to be as active as possible. Even if you’re not normally an active person, now is the time to start!

Most of us are familiar with the benefits of exercise for our health and well-being. But did you know that exercise can also help prevent gestational diabetes?

Exercise helps improve blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance. When you’re pregnant, your body works hard to provide nutrients to both you and your growing baby. When you give it more energy through exercise, it will use that energy efficiently throughout the day instead of storing it as fat.

For most people who work out regularly, there’s no need to change their workout routine during pregnancy (except for avoiding high-impact exercises). But if this is something new for you or if you haven’t exercised in a while, check in with your doctor before starting any new fitness regimen.

Have your blood sugar tested

When you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to get a blood test for gestational diabetes. If you’ve had gestational diabetes before, it’s even more important that you get this test.

If you have pre-existing diabetes, it’s important to keep track of your blood sugar throughout the pregnancy and after delivery. This will help you keep an eye on any changes in your health that could affect the baby or cause complications during or after birth. It can also help prevent further complications down the line.

Maintain healthy body weight

Gestational diabetes is more likely to occur in overweight or obese women. If you are already overweight, try to lose weight before becoming pregnant. You should also avoid gaining too much weight during your pregnancy.

It’s important to maintain the right balance between food intake and exercise during pregnancy. An expectant mother’s recommended daily calorie intake is 2200 calories per day. If you’re not eating enough calories, these hormones can cause problems with insulin production in your body and increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes.

The good news is that maintaining a healthy body weight doesn’t mean depriving yourself of delicious foods! It simply means making smart choices about what foods are best for your baby and yourself.

Final Note

Gestational diabetes can be scary. But if you know what to expect and how to deal with it, then your pregnancy will go smoothly—and so will your baby’s birth.

If you develop gestational diabetes, it’s important to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan to help lower your blood sugar. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your symptoms, so you can get the care you need.