Gestational Diabetes

At about the 24th week of pregnancy, some women may develop diabetes for the first time. This condition is called gestational diabetes, which is abnormally high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels that occur during pregnancy.

If you’re a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes, your care is in expert hands at Henry Ford Health. Our diabetes care team works closely with your prenatal care provider to manage your health and give your baby the best possible start in life.

Understanding gestational diabetes

Medical experts aren’t certain why some women develop diabetes during pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes, it’s important to understand that you did nothing to cause the condition. In some women, hormones during pregnancy can lead to abnormally high blood glucose levels.

Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born. However, if you have had the condition once, you’re at a higher risk of developing it again during future pregnancies.

Also, in some women, pregnancy reveals that they already had type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes also increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Treating gestational diabetes

If you have gestational diabetes, the good news is that moderate changes in your eating and exercise plans can help. Most pregnant women can control their blood glucose levels to keep their babies healthy and avoid complications during pregnancy and childbirth. If you need insulin or other medications to manage your blood sugar, the diabetes team at Henry Ford can customize a treatment plan for your best health.

To help you make the necessary nutritional choices, our Diabetes Care Centers offer a Medical Nutrition Therapy program. You meet one-on-one with a registered dietitian to:

  • Develop a personalized meal plan based on food preferences and lifestyle
  • Help you understand the effects of your food choices
  • Set realistic nutrition goals

The program includes follow-up visits to monitor progress with your healthy eating goals and adjust your food plan to help you get the results you need.

Find out more about diabetes self-management. 

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