Gestational Diabetes


Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and will normally develop in the second or third trimester. In some women they can be diagnosed in the first trimester however it is more likely they had the condition before becoming pregant.

 There are many different reasons why some women develop gestational diabetes, the main reason is that within some women their body does not produce enough insulin to cope with additional needs of the pregnancy.

There are also a variety of different risk factors as to why some people develop gestational diabetes and others do not.  The main risk factors are:

  • Obesity - being overweight or obese when pregnant can greatly increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
  • Family history - having a family history of type 2 diabetes, that is either a parent or sibling, will increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
  • An unexplained still birth or neo-natal death in a previous pregnancy.
  • A large baby - having a large baby in a previous pregnancy, that is a baby larger than 4.5kg, increases the risk also.
  • If you have previously suffered from gestational diabetes, in other pregnancies.
  • Ethnic background - if you are of South Asian or Black Caribbean origin you are also at an increased risk.

Some of the risk factors for developing gestational diabetes, you may notice are the same as those for developing type 2 diabetes, for example family history, ethnic background and obesity.

Block A Level One, Queen Mary's Hospital, Frognal Avenue, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6LT Diabetes Queries: 020 8269 3419