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Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. It means you have high blood sugar and need to take extra care of yourself and your bump. This will include eating well and keeping active. It usually goes away again after giving birth. It is usually diagnosed from a blood test 24 to 28 weeks into pregnancy. Find out more on the Diabetes UK website.

Women who have had a history of Gestational Diabetes are now eligible to refer onto the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. This free programme will help you make small changes to your life which will make you healthier and less likely to develop diabetes.

To find out more about the programme, visit: https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk Or you can call the Healthier You Team on 0333 577 3010. You will then need to contact your General Practice and ask a healthcare professional to refer you.

Long-term effects of gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes normally goes away after birth. But women who’ve had it are more likely to develop:

  • gestational diabetes again in future pregnancies
  • type 2 diabetes – a lifelong type of diabetes

You should have a blood test to check for diabetes 6 to 13 weeks after giving birth, and once every year after that if the result is normal.

See your GP if you develop symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst, needing to pee more often than usual, and a dry mouth – do not wait until your next test. 

You should have the tests even if you feel well, as many people with diabetes do not have any symptoms.

You’ll also be advised about things you can do to reduce your risk of getting diabetes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.