What does it mean?
When a mom-to-be is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it means she has high blood glucose levels but has never had diabetes prior to pregnancy. Typically, this complication will rear its head late in your 40-week trek, when your budding babe is fully formed but still growing. If left untreated, it can harm your baby, upping the risk of breathing problems and low blood glucose levels at birth, as well as obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
Why does it happen?
According to the American Diabetes Association, the exact trigger for gestational diabetes is still unknown. We do know that it kicks in when your body can’t make and use all of the insulin it needs, which means glucose (aka sugar) is left in the blood instead of being used for energy.
How can it be treated?
If you are one of the 9.2 percent of expectant women with gestational diabetes, you’ll need to talk to your OB about starting treatment right away. Simple steps like sticking to special meal plans and regular physical activity can bring down your blood glucose levels, although some moms-to-be may also need insulin injections. The good news: Your levels should return to normal postdelivery.