Diabetes and Pregnancy

November is American Diabetes Month.

More than 30 million people (10% of the population) are living with the disease every year. The word Diabetes in many cases is synonymous with someone needing to watch their sugar intake. We often think about a person that has to avoid sweets. Diabetes is defined as a group of diseases that cause too much sugar in the blood. There are several different forms of diabetes and the most common is type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs in someone while they are pregnant. It will typically appear in the 24th week of pregnancy. Many people do not associate diabetes with pregnancy or even consider pregnancy when discussing diabetes. 

A woman with no former history of diabetes can develop gestational diabetes

Pregnancy hormones block insulin from controlling blood sugar which is what leads to gestational diabetes. A routine blood test provided by the doctors office is used to determine whether or not a woman has it. Pregnant women who are experiencing fatigue, blurred vision and frequent large volume urination should schedule a visit to see their doctor as these are symptoms of gestational diabetes. 

Miscarriages and still born births are associated with diabetes during pregnancy.

Women who are diabetic have to take additional precautions when attempting to become pregnant. High blood glucose levels during pregnancy especially during the first few weeks can cause irreversible damage to the developing baby. Managing your diabetes and having a solid plan on how to stay on track while pregnant is very important. A healthy diet and moderate exercise will be the best prevention of further complications. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gestational diabetes can occur in approximately 2-10% of pregnancies each year. One of the biggest risk factors for developing gestational diabetes is weight. 

Additional risk factors that can lead to gestational diabetes are: 

  • Being over the age of 25
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of diabetes. 
  • Women that identify as Black, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Asian and American Indian

Diabetes is an obstacle that can prevent a woman from becoming pregnant. There are so many ailments and diseases that not only affect the womb health of a woman that would like to become pregnant but once she is pregnant there are still risks. Mind Your Own Womb would like to encourage people to practice mindfulness when speaking to women about these highly sensitive topics. 


Campbell, J., 2020. Gestational Diabetes - Birth Defect Fact Sheet. [online] Birth Defect Research for Children. Available at: <https://birthdefects.org/gestational-diabetes/?gclid=CjwKCAiAnIT9BRAmEiwANaoE1YscV7rMynhSMhfQZS4A7RGM9SMVC8OwJXfAMgK0U1qLd5VE8GVZhBoC2kkQAvD_BwE> [Accessed 4 November 2020].

How to prevent gestational diabetes. (n.d.). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325156

Pregnancy if You Have Diabetes. (2017, January 01). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/diabetes-pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes - Birth Defect Fact Sheet. (2020, March 11). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://birthdefects.org/gestational-diabetes/?gclid=CjwKCAiAnIT9BRAmEiwANaoE1YscV7rMynhSMhfQZS4A7RGM9SMVC8OwJXfAMgK0U1qLd5VE8GVZhBoC2kkQAvD_BwE

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