Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that some people develop during pregnancy. When you have diabetes, there’s too much glucose (sugar) in your blood.

If you develop gestational diabetes, it can lead to health problems for you and your baby during and after pregnancy. For example:

  • During your pregnancy, your baby is likely to grow bigger than normal. This could make giving birth more difficult — and make it more likely that you’ll have a caesarian delivery (C-section).
  • Your baby may be at risk for childhood obesity.
  • You’ll be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. After your baby is born, you’ll need to get tested regularly for type 2 diabetes.

If you have gestational diabetes, you and your doctor or midwife can work together to protect you and your baby. You can lower your risk for gestational diabetes by eating healthy and staying active before and during pregnancy.

Getting tested for gestational diabetes is part of regular prenatal care (health care during pregnancy). Usually, you’ll get the test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

What about cost?

Under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans must cover testing for gestational diabetes. Depending on your insurance, you may be able to get tested at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to learn more.

What do I ask the doctor?

When you visit the doctor, it helps to have questions ready ahead of time. You can also ask a family member or friend to go with you to take notes.

Consider taking this list of questions to your next appointment.

  • Am I at risk for gestational diabetes?
  • What can I do to lower my risk?
  • How will you test me for gestational diabetes?
  • How could gestational diabetes affect my baby’s health?
  • How could gestational diabetes affect my health?
  • If I have gestational diabetes, what happens next?