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Risk Factors For Gestational Diabetes

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Updated January 16, 2008

Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects about 4% of all pregnant women. It usually appears midway through the second trimester and disappears after the birth of the baby. It is not permanent. How do you know if you are at risk for developing gestational diabetes?

  • Obesity - with a BMI of 30 or over
  • Family history of Type 2 diabetes
  • If you are an older mom - age 35 or over
  • If you previously delivered larger babies (between 8 lbs. 5 oz and 9 lbs. 14 oz.)
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • You are Hispanic, African American, Native American, South or East Asian, or of Pacific Island descent.

Good prenatal care is important for all pregnant mothers, but especially important for women who carry the risk factors for gestational diabetes. Diabetes during pregnancy needs to be properly controlled to ensure the well being of both mom and baby.

Usually, under your healthcare provider's guidance, a healthy, balanced diet, and more exercise can go a long way towards controlling gestational diabetes. Occasionally insulin will also be used to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Good control will ensure a happy healthy outcome for all.

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