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Gestational Diabetes Online Manual

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How can gestational diabetes affect your baby?

Untreated gestational diabetes can:

  • cause your baby to store extra glucose as extra fat and have a higher than average birth weight. This can result in delivery problems for both you and the baby.
  • cause your baby to be born with low blood glucose (called hypoglycemia)
    • During pregnancy, the baby's body makes more insulin to balance the extra blood glucose passed from you.
    • After birth, the baby may continue to produce too much insulin.
    • When undetected, the glucose-insulin imbalance can lead to seizures and even coma.
  • cause breathing problems, jaundice, or premature delivery
  • cause stillbirth in rare cases
  • put your baby at a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life

How can gestational diabetes affect you?

Even when gestational diabetes is treated, you are at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and urinary tract infections during pregnancy, as well as type 2 diabetes later in life. However, following all the management guidelines for gestational diabetes — meal planning, exercising as recommended, managing stress and monitoring blood glucose — will help you lower these risks.

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Urinary tract infections

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection that can happen anywhere along the urinary tract.

Learn more about urinary tract infections in our health encyclopedia.

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Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic (lifelong) disease marked by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

Learn more about type 2 diabetes in our health encyclopedia.

Following all the management guidelines for gestational diabetes will help you lower these risks:


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Gestational Diabetes: When You Have Diabetes During Pregnancy, third edition, ISBN 1-931876-21-6

First published: 11/27/2006
Last updated: 01/20/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts