Gestational Diabetes (cont.)
What Increases Your Risk
You have an increased chance of developing gestational diabetes if:
- You are 25 or older when you become pregnant.
- You have had gestational diabetes before.
- You have given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 lb (4 kg).
- You weighed more than 9 lb (4 kg) when you were born.
- You have a parent or sibling who has type 2 diabetes.
- You are not physically active before pregnancy.
- You are obese (your body mass index[BMI] is 30 or higher).
- You are a member of a racial group or ethnic group that has a high risk of diabetes, such as Latin Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, or Pacific Islanders.
- You have polycystic ovary syndrome.
- You have a dark skin rash called acanthosis nigricans on the back of your neck or in folds on your body.
- You take corticosteroid medicine.
- You have a history of prediabetes.
- You have a history of problems during pregnancy.
When to Call a Doctor
Call or other emergency services right away if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness) or you suddenly become very sleepy or confused. You may have low blood sugar.
- You are sleepy, confused, or breathing very fast, or if your breath smells fruity. You may have very high blood sugar.
Call a doctor right away if:
- Your blood sugar is 300 mg/dL or higher (or it is higher than the level your doctor has set for you).
Call a doctor if you:
- Are sick and having trouble controlling your blood sugar.
- Have had vomiting or diarrhea for more than 6 hours.
- Often have problems with high or low blood sugar levels.
- Have trouble knowing when your blood sugar is low.
- Have questions or want to know more about gestational diabetes.
For information about when to call your doctor for other pregnancy-related issues, see the topic Pregnancy.
Who to see
Health professionals who can diagnose and treat gestational diabetes include:
After you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you may be referred to other health professionals who can help you understand what gestational diabetes means. These may include:
- A certified diabetes educator (CDE). A CDE is a registered nurse, registered dietitian, doctor, pharmacist, or other health professional who has training and experience in caring for people who have diabetes. A CDE can help you understand how to take care of yourself and help you adjust to living with gestational diabetes.
- A registered dietitian. All women who have gestational diabetes need to see a registered dietitian for help choosing the best foods. Follow-up visits with a dietitian are helpful if you need to change your eating habits.