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What is Gestational Diabetes?


Is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. It is diagnosed when higher than normal blood glucose levels first appear during pregnancy. Between 5% and 8% of pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes and this usually occurs around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy.

All women should be tested for gestational diabetes by taking a special blood test. Women who have one or more of the risk factors listed below are advised to have a diabetes test when pregnancy is confirmed then again at 24 weeks if diabetes was not detected in early pregnancy.

While maternal blood glucose levels usually return to normal after birth, there is an increased risk for the mother developing type 2 diabetes in the future. The baby may also be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

occurs when the hormones made by the placenta during pregnancy stop the body’s insulin from working properly, causing blood glucose levels to rise. In most cases the condition disappears after the birth of the child, but it may put the mother at greater risk of another GDM diagnosis during future pregnancies, and women who have had gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes after the births. 

There is no specific reason for gestitional diabetes, however those predisposing factors may effect , those are as follows:-

  - Are over 25 years of age

- Have a family history of type 2 diabetes

- Are overweight

- Are from an Indigenous

 - Australian or Torres Strait Islander background

Are from a Vietnamese, Chinese, middle eastern, Polynesian or Melanesian background.

- Have had gestational diabetes during previous pregnancies.

- Have previously had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

- Have previously given birth to a large baby.

- Have a family history of lifegestational diabetes.

Parou Kandel

Student of Nursing and Midwifery 

RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia 

Nurse anaesthetic TU, IOM.

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