Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) occurs in the later part of pregnancy (gestation) around the 25th week.  Like other types of diabetes, GDM affects how your cells use sugar (glucose) and insulin. GDM causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby's health.

For most women, there are no signs or symptoms, therefore all Obstetrician’s are recommended to screen every woman at 25 weeks, or earlier if you are at high risk.

 

Risks for developing GDM are:

  • Over age 25
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • History of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • History of unexplained stillbirth
  • Pre pregnancy weight (BMI >25)
  • History of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Any pregnancy complication is concerning, but there's good news! Expectant moms can help control their blood sugar levels by eating healthy foods, monitoring their blood sugar level at home, and exercising (with doctor’s approval). Occasionally, medication may be needed to keep blood sugar levels under control.

 

What happens if I don’t control my blood sugar levels?

  • Baby can become large
  • Increased risk of pre term delivery
  • Increase the risk for a caesarian section
  • Increase the risk of the baby having a low blood sugar level after birth

With GDM the mother’s blood sugar levels usually return to normal soon after delivery. But the mother now has a 40-60% higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years. However, losing the weight gained during pregnancy, staying active and eating healthy will all help to reduce that risk.

 

 

Gestational Diabetes Classes

During class, one of our specially trained dietitians will teach expectant moms about how to control their newly diagnosed GDM.  

Topics taught include:

  • How to monitor their blood sugar levels with their blood sugar meter (recommended to bring to the appointment)
  • What a healthy meal plan is for their specific needs
  • What foods are going to raise their blood sugar levels the most
  • Healthy weight gain recommendations

 

Referrals

If you have recently been diagnosed with GDM and need to see a dietitian, please download our referral form and give it to your Obstetrician. They can fax it to our office and we will contact you to set up an appointment as soon as possible.