Labor, birth and recovery

Although you've been dealing with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, chances are that your labor and the birth of your baby won't differ much from any other mother's.

Getting ready for labor and birth

  • Attend childbirth classes and read prenatal education materials.
  • Learn about contractions, relaxation and breathing techniques. Practice these techniques with your partner or labor companion.
  • Talk with your health care provider and your diabetes educator about what to expect during labor. Most women with gestational diabetes go through labor and birth without complications.
  • If you've been taking insulin, discuss with your health care provider how insulin needs will be managed during labor.

During labor

  • Your blood glucose levels will be monitored. Sometime during labor, or perhaps shortly after your baby's birth, your level will probably return to normal.
  • You and your health care provider may decide that a Cesarean birth is safest for you and your baby. Talk this possibility over in advance with your health care provider and with your partner.
  • Include any preferences in your birth plan.

Your baby's recovery

During the first few hours after birth, your baby's blood glucose level will be monitored carefully. If your blood glucose level was high before the birth, your baby's blood glucose level may be low after birth. If needed, extra glucose may be given to your baby.

Your recovery

After your baby's birth, your blood glucose levels should return to normal (less than 100 fasting and less than 140 two hours after eating). Your health care provider may have your levels tested while you're still in the hospital. At your first postpartum visit, your blood glucose level will be tested.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Gestational Diabetes: When You Have Diabetes During Pregnancy, third edition, ISBN 1-931876-21-6
Reviewed By: Reviewed by Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
First Published: 11/27/2006
Last Reviewed: 01/20/2014