St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Gestational diabetes - self-care

    Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (glucose) that happens during pregnancy. Usually there are no symptoms. But gestational diabetes may:

    • Cause mild symptoms, such as increased thirst or shakiness. These symptoms are usually not life threatening to the pregnant woman.
    • Cause a woman to have a larger baby. This can increase the chance of problems with the delivery.
    • Cause a higher risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy.

    How Is It Managed?

    • A healthy diet can keep your blood sugar controlled and may keep you from needing medicine. Your doctor, nurse, or dietitian will create a diet just for you. Your health care provider may ask you to keep track of what you eat. Do not drink alcohol while you are pregnant.
    • Exercise will help keep your blood sugar under control. Walking is usually the easiest type of exercise. Try walking 1 - 2 miles at a time, 3 or more times per week. Swimming or other low-impact exercises can work just as well. Ask your health care provider what type of exercise, and how much, is best for you.
    • Medications can help control gestational diabetes. Most women with gestational diabetes will not need diabetes medicines or insulin.
    • But if changing your diet does not control blood sugar levels, you may need oral medication (taken by mouth) or insulin therapy (shots).

    Checking Your Blood Sugar

    You can see how well you are doing by testing your glucose level at home.Your doctor may ask you to check your blood sugar once or more each day.

    The most common way to check is by pricking your finger for a drop of blood. Then, the blood drop is placed in a monitor (testing machine). If the monitor gives you a number that is too high or too low, you will need to get your blood sugar stable.

    Your health care providers will follow your blood sugar levels with you. Make sure you know what blood sugar level should be.

    Visits and Tests for You and Your Baby

    Your health care provider will closely check both you and your baby throughout the pregnancy. This will include:

    • Visits with your doctor every week
    • Ultrasounds that show the size of your baby
    • A non-stress test that shows whether or not your baby is doing well

    After Your Delivery

    Women with gestational diabetes should be watched closely after giving birth. They should also continue to get checked at doctor's appointments for signs of diabetes.

    High blood sugar (glucose) levels often go back to normal after delivery.Still, many women with gestational diabetes develop diabetes within 5 - 10 years after giving birth. The risk is greater in obese women.

    When to Call the Doctor

    Call your health care provider for the following diabetes-related problems:

    • Your baby seems to be moving less in your belly
    • Blurred vision
    • More thirst than normal
    • Nausea and vomiting

    References

    Landon MB, Catalano PM, Gabbe SG. Diabetes mellitus complicating pregnancy. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 39.

    BACK TO TOP

          A Closer Look

          Talking to your MD

            Self Care

            Tests for Gestational diabetes - self-care

              Review Date: 8/23/2012

              Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviEwed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

              The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
              adam.com

              A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


              Back  |  Top
              About Us
              Contact Us
              History
              Mission
              Locations & Directions
              Quality Reports
              Annual Reports
              Honors & Awards
              Community Health Needs
              Assessment

              Newsroom
              Services
              Brain & Spine
              Cancer
              Heart
              Maternity
              Orthopedics
              Pulmonary
              Sleep Medicine
              Urgent Care
              Women's Services
              All Services
              Patients & Visitors
              Locations & Directions
              Find a Physician
              Tour St. Luke's
              Patient & Visitor Information
              Contact Us
              Payment Options
              Financial Assistance
              Send a Card
              Mammogram Appointments
              Health Tools
              My Personal Health
              mystlukes
              Spirit of Women
              Health Information & Tools
              Clinical Trials
              Health Risk Assessments
              Employer Programs -
              Passport to Wellness

              Classes & Events
              Classes & Events
              Spirit of Women
              Donate & Volunteer
              Giving Opportunities
              Volunteer
              Physicians & Employees
              For Physicians
              Remote Access
              Medical Residency Information
              Pharmacy Residency Information
              Physician CPOE Training
              Careers
              Careers
              St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
              Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile