Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that a very small percentage of pregnant women can develop. Even if you have never had diabetes previously, it is possible to get gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If you are diabetic prior to becoming pregnant, this is referred to as pregestational diabetes.
Pregnant women should expect their doctor to perform a test for gestational diabetes around the end of the second trimester or in the beginning of the third trimester.
Gestational diabetes can occur as the fetus and placenta create various hormones necessary for the fetus to undergo normal development. Some of these hormones may have anti-insulin properties that cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity and lead to increased glucose production. This usually occurs midway through the pregnancy, as the cumulative effect of all the hormones affects normal insulin action and leads to diabetes.
Gestational diabetes will resolve itself once you have given birth and the body has stopped producing all the hormones.
Gestational Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
Unfortunately, about half of women who contract gestational diabetes will become type 2 diabetics later in life. This is usually due to a predisposition for type 2 diabetes that is exacerbated by the anti-insulin hormones produced during the pregnancy.
At "life with diabetes" we understand that gestational diabetes is a very serious disease. We strive to provide you with valuable information and resources to help make living with your diabetes easier.