Gestational diabetes is a condition in which the level of sugar in your blood becomes higher than normal during pregnancy. This condition usually develops in the second trimester and most often returns to normal soon after delivery.
High blood sugar levels can affect both the mother and development and growth of the baby. Normally there will not be any symptoms except for extreme thirst, hunger or tiredness, which may only be experienced occasionally.
The screening test for gestational diabetes is done in the 28th week of pregnancy. Your doctor will send you for a fasting blood glucose test, to look at your blood glucose level. Other tests, such as the screening glucose challenge test and oral glucose tolerance test, may be required to confirm the diagnosis.
Gestational diabetes can usually be controlled by dietary changes, regular exercise, and frequent blood tests to monitor the blood glucose levels. Some cases might also require the use of insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Poorly controlled or uncontrolled gestational diabetes increases the risk of pre-eclampsia, pre-term delivery, large-sized baby, Caesarean section, newborn with low blood sugar, breathing difficulties and jaundice. Even if gestational diabetes goes away after your baby is born, it increases your risk for diabetes later in your life. Therefore, it is important to exercise, eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight after pregnancy.