Pregnancy and Diabetes: Managing Gestational Diabetes for a Healthy Future

By Shannon Gurnee
In Health/Beauty
September 21, 2023

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about pregnancy and diabetes.

pregnancy and gestational diabetesSource

For both women and their unborn children, gestational diabetes, a kind of diabetes that manifests during pregnancy, presents special difficulties. 

Given that it is becoming more common, it is critical to comprehend the significance of managing this illness for a healthy future. 

This article examines the nuances of gestational diabetes, its effects on mother and fetal well-being, and the necessary precautions to guarantee the best results.  

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

Temporary diabetes that develops during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. High blood sugar levels that result from increased insulin resistance brought on by hormonal changes during pregnancy are its defining feature. Gestational diabetes, in contrast to pre-existing forms of the disease, often manifests between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy and frequently goes away after delivery. 

It can, however, result in dangers for the mother and the child if not properly managed. In order to ensure a successful pregnancy and lower the risk of difficulties for the mother and child, regulating blood glucose levels by lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, and occasionally medication is essential.

Identifying Risk Factors and Early Detection

Any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes, but specific risk factors make it more likely. Timely diagnosis and efficient care depend on early identification of these risk factors and fast screening. Consider the following important factors:

Pre-existing Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is more likely to develop in women who have had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes in the past. For those who want to get pregnant, diabetes screening before conception is essential.

Previous Gestational Diabetes

Women who have experienced gestational diabetes are more likely to do so in subsequent pregnancies.

Family History

A history of diabetes in the family, particularly in the parents or siblings, can increase the risk of gestational diabetes.

Age and Weight

Pre-pregnancy obesity or significant weight gain during pregnancy, as well as advanced maternal age (over 25), can raise the risk.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

pregnancy pregnant gestational diabetesSource

Gestational diabetes is more likely to occur in women with PCOS.


In comparison to other ethnic groups, women who are South Asian, Hispanic, African American, or Native American are more at risk.

Potential Gestational Diabetes Complications

Pregnant women and the growing fetus can experience a number of difficulties as a result of gestational diabetes. To reduce these hazards, proper management and monitoring are essential. Potential issues include the following:


Macrosomia, a condition where the infant grows larger than typical, can be the outcome of uncontrolled gestational diabetes. Due to this, there is a higher chance of challenging labor, birth trauma, and the requirement for a cesarean section (C-section).

Neonatal Hypoglycemia

Shortly after birth, newborns of gestational diabetic moms may experience low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). To avoid any issues, it is crucial to keep an eye on and control their blood sugar levels.

Preterm Birth

pregnancy pregnant gestational diabetesSource

Preterm birth (delivery before 37 weeks) is more likely with gestational diabetes, and the infant may experience a number of health problems as a result.

Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Babies that are born prematurely to gestational diabetic moms are more likely to experience respiratory distress syndrome, a disorder that impairs the lungs’ ability to function normally.


Jaundice, which is characterized by a yellowing of the eyes and skin, can occur in babies of gestational diabetic moms because of high bilirubin levels.


The dangerous disorder preeclampsia, which is marked by hypertension and organ damage, is more likely to occur in pregnant women with gestational diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Type 2 diabetes is more likely to strike women who have gestational diabetes in the future.

Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease

For both the mother and the fetus, gestational diabetes may increase long-term health concerns such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

How to Manage Managing Gestational Diabetes?

The following are crucial tactics for controlling gestational diabetes:

Healthy Diet

Maintain a balanced diet based on your personal needs. Place emphasis on lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Eat less processed food and sugary food, and watch your portion sizes.

Carbohydrate Counting

In order to control blood sugar levels, learn to measure carbohydrates. Evenly distribute carbohydrates among meals and snacks.

Regular Physical Activity

Take part in a safe, moderate kind of exercise, such as swimming, walking, or prenatal yoga. To choose the right workouts, talk to your healthcare physician. Additionally, incorporate a health app into your routine to help you with your physical and mental wellbeing.

Blood Sugar Monitoring

Check your blood sugar levels frequently to keep track of how diet, exercise, and medications affect glucose levels. Follow the recommended testing schedule from your doctor.

Insulin and Medication

If diet and exercise are insufficient to control blood sugar levels, doctors may prescribe insulin or other drugs. Always follow your doctor’s advice when using medications.

Collaborative Prenatal Care

Maintain close contact with your endocrinologist, diabetes educator, obstetrician, and other medical specialists. Attend routine prenatal checkups and let your doctor know if there are any concerns or changes in your health.

Diabetes Education

Get to know gestational diabetes, its treatment, and any possible consequences. Attend counseling or diabetes education seminars to gain useful self-care knowledge.

Postpartum Care

After birth, keep checking your blood sugar to make sure it’s back to normal. Discuss future diabetes risk management and postpartum screening with your healthcare practitioner.


To ensure the future health of both mother and child, gestational diabetes management is crucial. Women can reduce potential consequences with early identification, appropriate prenatal care, blood sugar monitoring, and lifestyle adjustments. Giving expectant moms the knowledge and support they need to get through this brief situation effectively will pave the way for a secure and promising journey throughout pregnancy and beyond.

About Has 2239 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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