June 29, 2020
Are You at Risk for Diabetes During Pregnancy?
Jessica Hernandez, RD, LD, Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, OSU Health Plan Health Coach

Are you at risk for developing gestational diabetes? If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should know if you have a high risk factor to help better plan for a healthy pregnancy. The causes of gestational diabetes are not fully understood and cannot be prevented. There are, however, several risk factors to consider.

  • Age: Women who become pregnant after the age of 25 years.
  • Weight: Women who are overweight (have a body mass index [BMI] > 24).
  • Race/ethnicity: Certain ethnic groups, including African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans (Latinos), and those from the Pacific Islands.
  • Family history: If someone else in your family has or had diabetes (type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes).
  • Prediabetes: This is a diagnosis of potential concern for future diabetes. It means that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but they are not high enough to be considered diabetes. If you’ve been told that you have prediabetes, you should be more alert about having your blood sugar checked regularly and often to check for the onset of gestational diabetes.
  • Previous pregnancies with gestational diabetes: If you developed gestational diabetes during a prior pregnancy, you’re more at risk for developing it in future pregnancies.

A healthy diet, physical activity, and talking to your doctor are all important strategies to manage gestational diabetes. Check out these websites to learn more:



If you develop gestational diabetes, it usually goes away on its own after you give birth. Your doctor will test your blood sugar levels 6 to 12 weeks after you give birth to make sure your levels are back to normal. Gestational diabetes puts you at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. You should get tested every three years to make sure your blood glucose levels are normal.

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common health problems for pregnant women. Join Jessica, OSU Health Coach and Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, for an Educational Program “Gestational Diabetes and How to Manage It” on July 15, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. for tips on navigating this condition. Click here to sign up today.

Expecting a Buckeye Baby? The OSU Health Plan and Your Plan for Health encourage expectant parents with Ohio State Faculty/Staff medical plans to join the Buckeye Baby program. Join webinar-based discussions to review pregnancy-related topics, health plan benefits, and share ideas with each other. Register for the webinar sessions provided throughout the year. Contact us with questions at osuhpbuckeyebaby@osumc.edu.

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