Gestational Diabetes

Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Gestational diabetes treatment

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your healthcare provider will likely recommend frequent checkups (especially during your last trimester). During checkups, he or she will monitor your blood sugar. He or she may also ask you to monitor your blood sugar as part of a daily treatment plan.

Some strategies for treating your gestational diabetes22 may include:

  • Monitoring your blood sugar: During pregnancy, your healthcare provider may ask you to check your blood sugar levels up to 5 times a day (first thing in the morning and after all meals) to make sure that they stay within a healthy range. It is vital that you monitor and control your blood sugar levels—doing so will help keep the baby healthy and avoid complications during pregnancy and delivery. Follow-up blood sugar tests after giving birth are also important, as having had gestational diabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
  • Eating a healthy diet: One of the best ways to control your blood sugar and prevent excess weight gain—both of which can put you at a higher risk for developing complications—is to eat the right kinds of food in healthy portions. While most experts don’t advise losing weight during pregnancy, you and your healthcare provider can work together to set healthy weight gain goals based on your weight before pregnancy.
  • Physical activity: Getting regular exercise is important for maintaining general wellness before, during, and after pregnancy. Exercise lowers blood sugar by stimulating the body to move glucose into your cells (where it is used as energy) and increases your cells’ sensitivity to insulin (meaning your body will have to produce less of the hormone to transport sugar).
  • Medication: If healthy choices regarding diet and exercise aren’t enough to control your gestational diabetes, you may need to take insulin injections to lower your blood sugar. Between 10–20% of women with gestational diabetes need insulin to reach their blood sugar goals.
  • Close monitoring of the baby: Closely observing the baby’s health is important. A provider may monitor growth and development using tests like ultrasounds. If you don’t go into labor by your due date (or, in some cases, even earlier), your provider may induce labor, as delivering after your due date may increase the risk of complications

Diabetes medication

It's important to discuss medication with your healthcare provider if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

May be prescribed

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Gestational diabetes prevention

There is no guaranteed way to prevent developing gestational diabetes while you are pregnant. However, the same healthy lifestyle choices used to treat gestational diabetes may also help prevent it.

Aside from eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise, losing excess weight before pregnancy may help you have a healthier term.

It is best to discuss all choices regarding diet, exercise, and weight loss with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.