Gestational diabetes, or pregnancy diabetes, is a type of diabetes that occurs for the first time during pregnancy. Diabetes causes your blood sugar levels to be higher than normal. Complications from gestational diabetes can affect both the mother and baby, and may include difficult delivery, preterm labor and birth, and poor health for the baby. Fortunately, treatment allows most women with gestational diabetes to have a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Diabetes in Pregnancy Program
To assist and support clients by decreasing risk factors associated with diabetes during pregnancy, Dignity Health offers comprehensive care in our Outpatient Perinatal Diabetes Clinic in partnership with Valley Children’s Medical Group. The program is designed to provide expectant mothers with practical information for improved diabetes management through specialized meal planning, physical activity, and incorporating best practices from the program in daily life. Learn More
If you’re looking for an experienced team of obstetricians and gynecologists to evaluate, diagnose, and treat gestational diabetes in the Sacramento region, use our online Find a Doctor tool for a Dignity Health OB near you. Our Family Birth Centers are known for our commitment to the health and well-being of our mothers and newborns.
Gestational Diabetes Causes
When you’re pregnant, your body makes more insulin, a hormone that lowers your blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes occurs when your body can’t make enough insulin to keep up with the needs of pregnancy.
The following factors may increase your risk of gestational diabetes:
- Previous birth of a baby weighing more than nine pounds
- Obesity and overweight
- History of prediabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome
- History of gestational diabetes
- Family history of diabetes
- African American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian American heritage
Speak with your Dignity Health doctor to learn more about the risk factors of gestational diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes Symptoms
There are few signs or symptoms associated with gestational diabetes. For this reason, it’s important to get regular screenings (with a blood test) during your 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If your screening test reveals that you have high blood sugar levels, your health care provider will order further tests to provide a correct diagnosis.
Gestational Diabetes Treatment & Prevention
When you visit your Dignity Health OB/GYN, they will focus on helping you avoid complications to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby. The goal of treating gestational diabetes will be to keep your blood sugar within normal levels.
In some cases, you may be able to achieve normal blood sugar levels through a healthy diet and your activity level. At our Family Birth Centers, your health care team will include trusted doctors, nurses, and other specialists to help you design a healthy eating plan for optimal blood sugar levels.
Further treatment for gestational diabetes may also include medication in the form of pills or injections to control your blood sugar. Your health care provider will show you how to give yourself insulin shots and how to test your blood sugar level.
You can help prevent gestational diabetes by losing weight before pregnancy and increasing your activity levels. Talk to one of our professionals about how we can support you and your health before, during, and after pregnancy. Dignity Health doctors and nurses provide exceptional care to help prevent and treat gestational diabetes throughout the Sacramento, CA region.