Gestational diabetes rates are rapidly increasing

The rate of gestational diabetes has risen significantly in recent years, according to a recent study. Gestational diabetes increases health risks for mother and baby.

The rate of gestational diabetes has risen significantly in recent years, according to a recent study. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It occurs in patients who do not have diabetes prior to becoming pregnant.

The study shows the rate of gestational diabetes rose from 47.6 to 63.6 per 1,000 live births between 2011 and 2019. While minorities account for the largest rates of the disease, the increase was similar across all racial groups.

What causes gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes happens when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin — the hormone that controls blood sugar — during pregnancy. The hormonal changes that naturally occur during pregnancy, including weight gain, can cause the body to use insulin less effectively and develop insulin resistance.

Risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy
  • Ethnicity
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Glucose in urine (glycosuria)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

Gestational diabetes increases health risks for the mother and baby, including high blood pressure during pregnancy; a cesarean section (C-section) delivery due to a larger baby; premature birth; and the development of health issues after giving birth, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Babies have a higher risk of developing obesity and Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Norton Women’s Care

Our team works with Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine to provide comprehensive care for pregnant patients with diabetes.

Call (502) 629-GYN (4496)

Request an appointment online

Specialized diabetes care during pregnancy

Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine is the leading provider of pregnancy care in the Louisville area for women experiencing pregnancy-related conditions. Our team is dedicated to educating and monitoring patients with diabetes who may be at risk of having babies with health complications.

“We have a special diabetes team, including a diabetes nurse practitioner and a registered dietician, which helps patients manage their condition during pregnancy,” said Valerie R. Morgan, APRN, nurse practitioner with Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine. “Our team remains in regular contact with patients, sometimes weekly, and we manage insulin pumps and sensors for those who need them.”

The team also works in collaboration with physicians who monitor and evaluate the baby’s growth and any potential health concerns caused by diabetes.

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