Gestational Diabetes

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes can develop during pregnancy in women who don’t already have diabetes. It occurs when your body can’t make enough insulin during your pregnancy.
During pregnancy, your body makes more hormones and goes through other changes, such as weight gain. These changes cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases your body’s need for insulin.

All pregnant women have some insulin resistance during late pregnancy. However, some women have insulin resistance before they get pregnant. They enter pregnancy with an increased need for insulin and are more likely to have gestational diabetes.

Learn more about gestational diabetes.

Risk Factors

You’re at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy.
  • Have given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds.
  • Are overweight.
  • Are more than 25 years old.
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Have a hormone disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Are an African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander person.

Gestational diabetes usually goes away after you give birth. However, it increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. Your baby is also more likely to have obesity as a child or teen, and to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Learn more about diabetes risk factors.

Signs & Symptoms

Gestational diabetes usually doesn’t have any symptoms. 


If you’re pregnant, your should get tested for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

The following tests can determine if you have gestational diabetes:

  • Glucose Screening Test
  • Glucose Tolerance Test

Learn more about testing for diabetes.


Gestational diabetes can be managed by:

  • Going to all your prenatal appointments
  • Managing blood sugar
  • Healthy eating 
  • Being active
  • Taking insulin or another medication if prescribed by your provider

Learn more about managing diabetes.

Sources: CDC, American Diabetes Association