What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that happens in the last half of pregnancy. Women with gestational diabetes generally do not have diabetes before or after they are pregnant. The placenta produces hormones that block the action of insulin in the mother's body. For about 18% of women, their pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to keep up with the increased demands and they become diabetic while pregnant. High blood sugar levels can be dangerous to the developing fetus, causing complications such as high birth weight, low blood sugar and jaundice, so it is important to treat gestational diabetes even if it only lasts a few weeks.