Gestational diabetes is when your body cannot produce enough insulin to meet your needs during pregnancy, so you develop high blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes can cause problems if it is not managed properly but, for most people, it disappears after they have their baby.
During your first antenatal appointment, your midwife or doctor will ask you some questions to determine if you’re at an increased risk of gestational diabetes. Generally, you’re at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes if:
- Your BMI (body mass index) is above 30
- You’ve previously had a baby who weighed 10lb or more at birth
- You’ve previously had gestational diabetes
- A parent or sibling has had gestational diabetes
- You’re of south Asian, Black, African-Caribbean, or Middle Eastern heritage
If any of these risk factors apply to you, you will be offered a gestational diabetes screening when you’re between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant. The screening test is called an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This involves a blood test in the morning, when you’ve not had anything to eat or drink. Then you’ll be given a glucose drink to eat and after two hours, another blood sample is taken to see how your body is coping with the glucose.