Gestational diabetes

What is GDM?

GDM is diabetes which develops in pregnancy. Risk factors for the development of GDM are maternal age over 30 years, previous GDM, previous baby >4.5 kg at birth, increased BMI, PCOS, use of steroid medications, family history of diabetes and particular ethnicity such as Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Polynesian and Melanesian.


Uncontrolled diabetes can produce large babies at risk of complications with delivery, increased risk for admission to nursery due to low blood sugar, jaundice treatment and breathing support; a higher risk for a caesarean section. There is also the increased risk for developing type 2 DM later in life.  


Testing for GDM is recommended to every pregnant woman at 28 weeks of pregnancy. For women with risk factors for developing GDM, it is recommended to do an additional screening test as soon as their pregnancy is confirmed.


Once you are diagnosed with GDM you will be referred to a dietitian and an endocrinologist. You will need to follow a diabetic diet, and you test your blood sugar levels several times a day at home. You may be prescribed insulin. You will need closer foetal monitoring to ensure your baby’s wellbeing and may need to deliver your baby early.

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