Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes which affects pregnant women. This form of diabetes indicates high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. When a pregnant woman's body fails to produce adequate amounts of insulin during pregnancy, it results in high blood sugar levels causing gestational diabetes. Research shows that almost 4% women suffer from gestational diabetes during their pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes not only affects the pregnant mother but also the developing fetus. Insulin does not pass through the placenta like other nutrients and glucose. However, the extra glucose that passes through the placenta to the baby causes elevated blood glucose levels in the baby as well. In such cases, the baby's pancreas has to produce additional insulin to help eliminate the extra blood glucose. The extra energy expended is stored as fat in the baby’s body and this in turn can lead to macrosomia. After birth, these babies may develop breathing difficulties or hypoglycemia because of excess insulin production.
Some of the other names for gestational diabetes are: