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Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes


What Happens to My Baby After Delivery?

Your baby's blood sugar level will be tested immediately after birth. If the blood sugar is low, he or she will be given sugar water to drink or by an intravenous tube in the vein. Your baby may be sent to a special care nursery for observation during the first few hours after birth to make sure he or she doesn't have a low blood glucose reaction.

If you had gestational diabetes, there is an increased risk that your newborn will develop jaundice. Jaundice is a yellow discoloration of the skin that occurs when bilirubin is present in the baby's blood. Bilirubin is a pigment that causes jaundice and is released when extra red blood cells build up in the blood and can't be processed fast enough. Jaundice goes away rapidly with treatment that often involves exposing your baby to indirect sunlight or special lights to help your baby process and get rid of the pigment.


Will Gestational Diabetes Cause the Baby to Have Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes does increase the risk that your child will have diabetes in the future.

Will I Still Have Diabetes After I Deliver My Baby?

Usually with gestational diabetes, blood sugar levels return to normal about 6 weeks after childbirth, because the placenta, which was producing the extra hormones that caused insulin resistance, is gone. Your doctor will check your blood sugar levels after your baby is born to make sure your blood sugar level has returned to normal. Some doctors recommend an oral glucose tolerance test 6-12 weeks after delivery to check for diabetes.

You should also be screened for diabetes in the future. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 60% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later-in-life. By maintaining an ideal body weight, following a healthy diet, and exercising, you will be able to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

In addition, women who have gestational diabetes during one pregnancy have a 40%-50% chance of developing diabetes in the next pregnancy. If you had gestational diabetes during one pregnancy and are planning to get pregnant again, talk to your health care provider first so you can make the necessary lifestyle changes before your next pregnancy.

Get tips on eating right with diabetes.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on June 25, 2013
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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