What Is Gestational Diabetes and the Recommendations for Pregnant Women?

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This research defines gestational diabetes as glucose intolerance or high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy. It only gets diagnosed in the much later stages of pregnancy. During pregnancy, a lot of hormonal imbalances occur in the body, which is the reason why women develop resistance to insulin.

The underlying risk factors that predispose women to gestational diabetes include being a first-time mom, having a family history of diabetes, having diabetes in a previous pregnancy, and being obese or overweight.

Gestational diabetes has huge effects on the unborn baby as well as on the mother. Since the condition cannot be detected early enough by its signs and symptoms, the best way to curb it is to get tested earlier in the pregnancy.

Effects of Gestational Diabetes at Birth

Gestational diabetes tends to make babies grow a lot larger than normal. As a result, mothers suffer from injuries when giving birth because of their extra size and may lose a lot of blood and sustain wounds that take longer to heal. The baby might be born preterm and have low blood sugar at birth; in addition, the child will have temporary respiratory problems and jaundice that can be treated as they grow. Other effects of gestational diabetes on the mother and child at birth are outlined in this study.

Recommendations for Pregnant Women

The underlying cause of gestational diabetes is an uncontrollable amount of sugar in the blood. Therefore, the best way to prevent the condition is to normalize blood sugar levels as much as possible during pregnancy.

Work toward maintaining a healthy body weight by eating well. Fiber-rich foods, fewer carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables will help regulate blood sugar. Avoid skipping meals because it will cause huge blood sugar fluctuations. Get healthy supplements to use during pregnancy to reduce deficiencies that may cause imbalances in the body’s systems.

Maintaining a relatively active lifestyle considerably lowers the chances of developing gestational diabetes. In addition, physical activity and exercise during pregnancy strengthens muscles and increases metabolic rates, eliminating toxic substances from the bloodstream. Walking, swimming, cycling, aerobics, and stretches are some of the exercises pregnant women can do.

It is easier to maintain blood sugar levels if pregnant women remain aware of their health status. Get a blood sugar test at a clinic or do one at home. Test kits and materials are available at drug stores.


Gestational diabetes, unlike other types of diabetes, does not have warning signs and symptoms, so most pregnant women rely on regular blood sugar tests to determine their health status. In most women, gestational diabetes diminishes after birth. However, the disease could recur in the next pregnancy, so the condition should still be treated as early as possible.


Buchanan, Thomas A., Anny Xiang, Siri L. Kjos, and Richard Watanabe. “What Is Gestational Diabetes?” Diabetes Care 30, no. 2 (2007): S105–S111. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Boney, Charlotte M., Anila Verma, Richard Tucker, and Betty R. Vohr. “Metabolic Syndrome in Childhood: Association with Birth Weight, Maternal Obesity, and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.” Pediatrics 115, no. 3 (2005): e290–e296. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d840/02212775f7f9ff132b8f05ba7944472997db.pdf?_ga=2.252553609.10244715.1532845685-176034152.1532347688

Hello! I am Roselia Shi, mom to a feisty one-and a-half-year-old girl named Tara. We live in Newport, Arkansas. I enjoy solving everyday health and parenting problems. I have a university degree in clinical pharmacy and pharmacology. I started exploring science-based parenting soon after Tara was born. Parenting Science is a small attempt to share some useful information and insights about responsive parenting.

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