One of the frustrating things about pregnancy ailments is that some of them are hard to detect; after all, there is so much happening with your body right now. If you're expecting, you might find yourself looking for symptoms of gestational diabetes. With the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimating that the prevalence for gestational diabetes is at 9.2 percent, it's something many moms-to-be have on their brain.
However, Mayo Clinic noted that for most women, gestational diabetes doesn't present major signs or symptoms. Frustrating, right? But, this is just another reason why it's so important to have comprehensive prenatal care. According to WebMD, if gestational diabetes do present symptoms, they are increased hunger, thirst, and urination, which you might be experiencing anyway. This is why so many women are surprised to learn they have gestational diabetes.
According to The American Diabetes Association (ADA), if an expectant mother's blood sugar is too high, she may develop gestational diabetes, which is when a woman without pre-existing diabetes develops it during her pregnancy. The ADA reported that gestational diabetes will typically develop around week 20 of pregnancy, and is likely to disappear after giving birth. However, this condition is totally manageable, as you can monitor your blood sugar level with your physician throughout your pregnancy. The CDC recommended that you make sure you ask your OB-GYN to test for the condition during weeks 20 through 28 of pregnancy. Exercise, a healthy diet, and in some cases, doses of insulin keep gestational diabetes in check, noted the CDC.
Risk factors include family history of diabetes, or prediabetes, slightly elevated blood sugar that may be a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, noted the New York State Health Foundation. Other risk factors include excess weight, which Mayo Clinic determined as when your Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 30. Also according to Mayo Clinic, for unknown reasons, women who are African, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian have a higher chance of developing gestational diabetes than caucasian women. In another article, Web MD noted that women with high blood pressure are more at risk for developing gestational diabetes and also women who have, in a previous pregnancy, given birth to a baby weighing over nine pounds.
Once your baby is born, and again at six weeks postpartum, visit your doctor who will check your blood sugar levels to make sure it has returned to baseline, reported Mayo Clinic. You might also be at risk for developing gestational diabetes in future pregnancies, reported WebMD. Additionally, women who developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy have a 50 percent chance of developing diabetes later in life, so it's important to keep monitoring your blood sugar levels with healthcare professionals even after your baby is all grown up.