Gestational diabetes can complicate pregnancy for both mother and baby. The effects of hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy increase demands on the pancreas and can lead to insulin resistance. Gestational diabetes can strike any expectant mother but is most likely in those who are over 30 years of age and overweight, as well as those who have had a previous baby weighing more than 9 lb (4kg) or a family history of gestational or type 2 diabetes.
All women should have a blood test for diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If gestational diabetes is diagnosed, the mother will need to modify her diet and monitor weight gain carefully; she may require daily insulin injections for the rest of the pregnancy. Although his type of diabetes usually disappears almost immediately after childbirth, women who have had it are at high risk for type 2 diabetes in later years.