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Gestational diabetes: all you need to know

Pregnancy is such an exciting time… Exciting, and a little scary. Especially if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and you’re not sure what it all means. We’ve gathered together all our most helpful articles, as well as an excellent article and book from Accu-Chek, to give you all the information and guidance you need. You’re not alone in this!

gestational diabetes info

Understanding gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes (GD) is a type of diabetes that can sometimes develop in some women when pregnant. Essentially, it refers to higher than normal levels of blood glucose which if not managed can mean complications for both mom and baby.

Let’s Chat: Diabetes and Pregnancy

If you’re looking for a brief overview of what GD is, check out this article from Accu-Chek. We’ve put together an in-depth look at managing gestational diabetes here, and some diet, exercise and partner tips so that you feel prepared.

Risk factors for developing gestational diabetes

GD generally only develops later in pregnancy, and will usually be checked by a blood glucose test sometime in the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. This may be earlier if you are at greater risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Here are the risk factors:

  • You are overweight or obese
  • You are older
  • You have a family history of diabetes (a first-degree relative)
  • You have had gestational diabetes from a previous pregnancy
  • You have previously given birth to a baby who weighs more than 4.5kg
  • You have a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Essential information for women with gestational diabetes

One of the most helpful things to do is download this helpful (free) book from Accu-Chek. It covers everything from the symptoms, causes and risks of gestational diabetes to complications and treatment and – most importantly – how to get the support you need.

Read and download it here.

gestational diabetes

Community support

It can feel overwhelming to find out you have GD, but you’re not alone! With the right management you can have a healthy, happy pregnancy. To reduce the risk of gestational diabetes later developing into Type 2 diabetes, follow these tips:

  • Keep to a healthy weight
  • Follow a healthy eating plan
  • Be physically active
  • Keep up with your doctor visits to monitor your glucose levels

Join us on Diabetic South Africans on Facebook for a community full of people living well with diabetes.

Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.