Prognosis of Gestational Diabetes

By  , Expert Content
Aug 23, 2011

What is the Prognosis of Gestational Diabetes

Most women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes when they are tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of their pregnancy. But all is not lost because you have gestational diabetes. With proper treatment, blood sugar control and care most women with gestational diabetes have an uneventful pregnancy and give birth to healthy babies (just like women without gestational diabetes). Rarely a mother or her baby can have problems because of untreated or uncontrolled gestational diabetes.

Problems for the baby include:

  • Excess growth (macrosomia): The baby can be born very large and with extra fat. This increases the risk of complications during delivery (for the mother and baby).
  • Hypoglycemia or low blood glucose immediately after birth.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Jaundice or high bilirubin levels.


Problems for the mother include:

  • Increased risk of developing high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia).
  • Increased risk of complications during delivery and increase in chances of a C-section delivery.

But in most women with gestational diabetes the blood sugar returns to normal after the baby is born as the hormonal changes that caused insulin resistance during pregnancy are gone and the secreted insulin can work normally without resistance. In rare cases some obese women can remain diabetic even after pregnancy.

Long term prognosis for mother:
In women with gestational diabetes the risk of developing diabetes later in life is increased. According to some studies about 40 percent of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes later on.

Gestational diabetes can have serious effects both on you and your baby even if you have no symptoms. Keeping your blood sugar levels under control and following your doctor’s treatment recommendations can keep both of you healthy. Besides this as the risk of developing diabetes later in life is increased try to follow healthy life style, maintain healthy body weight and get screened for type 2 diabetes every year.


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