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So You Have Gestational Diabetes—Now What?

By Carol Caffin
Reviewed by Alyssa Quimby, M.D.
November 18, 2022

Receiving a diagnosis of gestational diabetes can be stressful and disappointing. As if you didn’t have enough to worry about! But while it’s true that the condition can have serious complications if left untreated, there’s plenty you can do to keep you and your baby healthy.

Gestational diabetes (GD) is diabetes that develops for the first time in pregnancy. It affects an estimated 2% to 5% of pregnant people (or up to 9% of those with risk factors) in the United States. With GD, a person’s body doesn’t make enough insulin (a hormone that regulates metabolism of carbohydrates), and the result is high blood sugar (glucose).

Properly managed GD usually resolves on its own once the baby is born, but as many as 60% of people with GD may, at some point in their lives, progress to Type 2 diabetes, which is a lifelong condition. Here’s what you need to know about GD—and how to have the healthiest possible pregnancy even with this diagnosis.