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Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs for the first time during pregnancy. Diabetes is a condition that causes high blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes can cause maternal conditions, such as difficult delivery and preterm labor and birth, and fetal conditions, including poor health for the baby at birth. With treatment, most women with gestational diabetes have healthy pregnancies and births.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican obstetricians are experts in treating gestational diabetes in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. Find a Doctor who delivers at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican by calling (702) 616-4900.
Pregnancy increases the body’s demand for insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman’s body can’t make enough insulin to keep up with this demand.
A number of factors increase a woman’s risk of gestational diabetes, including:
Most women who have gestational diabetes have no noticeable symptoms.
Since gestational diabetes has few obvious signs and can cause serious health problems, health care providers routinely screen women for gestational diabetes with a blood test. This usually happens between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If your screening test shows high blood sugar levels, your doctor will order additional tests to confirm or rule out the diagnosis.
Treating gestational diabetes increases the chances of a healthy baby, mother, and birth by helping avoid complications. The goal of treatment is to keep the mother’s blood sugar within normal levels.
Some women can achieve normal blood sugar levels by increasing their activity and watching what they eat. Health care providers, including nutritionists, diabetes educators, nurses, and doctors, help pregnant women design healthy eating plans to control sugar levels. Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican offers gestational diabetes counseling that can help. Sign up today.
Some women take oral medication to keep their blood sugar levels under control. If you need insulin injections, your health care provider will show you how test your blood sugar levels and give yourself shots.
Gestational diabetes goes away after birth, but increases the risk for diabetes later in life. Your doctor may recommend regular screening for diabetes.
You can help prevent gestational diabetes by increasing your physical activity and losing excess weight before you get pregnant. Regular physical activity and a healthy weight help your body normalize blood sugar levels and use insulin.