HEALTH FEATURE ARCHIVE

Gestational Diabetes - Are You at Risk?

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes mellitus that appears during pregnancy (gestation) in a women who previously did not have diabetes and usually goes away after the baby is born.

Answer the questions below to learn your risk level for gestational diabetes.

Question

Yes No

Are you a member of a high-risk ethnic group (Hispanic, African American, Native American, South or East Asian, Pacific Islander, or Indigenous Australian)?
 

Are you overweight?
   

Are you related to anyone who has diabetes now or had diabetes in their lifetime?
   

Are you older than 25?
   

Did you have gestational diabetes with a past pregnancy?
   

Have you had a stillbirth or a very large baby with a past pregnancy?
   

Answers

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you are at high risk for gestational diabetes.
  • If you are at high risk, get tested as soon as you know you are pregnant. If your first test is negative, get tested again when you are between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant.

If you answered yes to only one of these questions, you are at average risk for gestational diabetes.

  • If you are at average risk, get tested when you are between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant.

If you answered no to all of these questions, you are at low risk for gestational diabetes.

  • If you are at low risk, don't get tested unless your doctor or nurse tells you that you should.

Keep in mind that every pregnancy is different. Even if you didn't have gestational diabetes when you were pregnant before, you might get it during your current pregnancy. Or, if you had gestational diabetes before, you may not get it with this pregnancy. Follow your doctor's or nurse's advice about your risk level and getting tested.

For more, please visit the Diabetes Mellitus Center and Pregnancy Planning Center.

Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/gest_diabetes.htm)


Last Editorial Review: 8/2/2002