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Gestational diabetes

  • Definition

    Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (diabetes) that starts or is first diagnosed during pregnancy.

    Alternative Names

    Glucose intolerance during pregnancy

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Pregnancy hormones can block insulin from doing its job. When this happens, glucose levels may increase in a pregnant woman's blood.

    You are at greater risk for gestational diabetes if you:

    • Are older than 25 when you are pregnant
    • Have a family history of diabetes
    • Gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds or had a birth defect
    • Have sugar (glucose) in your urine when you see your doctor for a regular prenatal visit
    • Have high blood pressure
    • Have too much amniotic fluid
    • Have had an unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth
    • Were overweight before your pregnancy