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Gestational Diabetes


Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, usually in the second or third trimester. GDM causes your blood sugar level to rise too high. This can harm you and your unborn baby. Blood sugar levels usually go back to normal after the baby is born. The cause of GDM is not known. Hormones made by the placenta may cause insulin resistance. Insulin helps move sugar out of the blood so it can be used for energy. Insulin resistance means your pancreas makes insulin, but your body cannot use it. As the placenta grows, more of these hormones are produced. The hormones block insulin and cause your blood sugar level to rise.



Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

A dietitian

may work with you to find a meal plan that will help you control your blood sugar. Ask how your favorite foods may fit into this meal plan. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about meal planning.


may be given to decrease the amount of sugar in your blood.


  • Blood glucose tests may be checked 3 times a day or more. This is usually done before meals and at bedtime.
  • A urine sample may show the amount of ketones and sugar in your urine. This test helps show how well your blood sugar level is being controlled and if you need more tests.
  • Fetal monitoring is used to check your baby's heartbeat and the contractions of your uterus. A small disc or ultrasound wand with gel on it is placed on your abdomen. A belt may be fastened around your waist to hold the disc in place. The disc or wand may need to be moved as your baby moves inside you. The disc or wand is attached to a monitor that shows your baby's movement, heartbeat, or your contractions.

Diabetes education:

Healthcare providers will teach you how to manage your diabetes. They may visit your home, you may attend classes, or speak to them on the phone. They will teach you what to do if your blood sugar level goes too high or too low. They will also help you plan sick day management. Ask how to dispose of used needles and syringes.


You have an increased risk for premature (early) labor, miscarriage, or a C-section delivery. Your risk for preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) is increased. You may develop GDM with future pregnancies. You have a higher risk for bladder or vaginal infections. You may develop diabetes after you deliver your baby. Your baby may weigh more than 8½ pounds at birth. He or she may also develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) after birth. He or she may also have a birth defect or develop newborn jaundice (yellowing of the skin). Your baby may also have neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (breathing problems). His or her risk for obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes as an adult is increased.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Gestational Diabetes (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference Guides (External)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.