Gestational diabetes (GDM) occurs during pregnancy, when hormones made by an expectant mother’s placenta keeps her body from using the insulin as it should. This is called insulin resistance. Women who develop GDM are not able to make enough extra insulin to make up for the increased insulin resistance of pregnancy. Blood sugar (glucose) then builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells in the body. Although GDM usually goes away after delivery, it is important for all women with GDM to have an oral glucose tolerance test between 6-12 weeks after delivery. If a woman has had GDM, she and her child are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Richard Haas, MD is the Director of Gestational Diabetes at the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence. He is an endocrinologist specializing in metabolism and diabetes, with an interest in diabetes in pregnancy, insulin pump management and lipid disorders. He works closely with two nutritionists at UMass Memorial, Victoria Andersen, RD and Susan Miller, RD, CDE in the management of women with GDM.
GDM is one of the most common health problems for expectant moms. If you develop diabetes during pregnancy, you may require special medical care. Gestational diabetes care is offered by our Adult Diabetes Clinic. We will work with you to develop a care plan that meets your needs and lifestyle.
This video provides an overview of gestational diabetes and its potential risks
Adipose tissue function during pregnancy and its involvement in the development of gestational diabetes