Diabetes, gestational: A form of diabetes mellitus that appears during pregnancy (gestation) in a woman who previously did not have diabetes and usually goes away after the baby is born.
Factors that increase the chance of a woman's developing gestational diabetes include her age (if she's over 25), her ethnic background (high-risk groups include Hispanic, African American, Native American, South or East Asian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous Australian), her weight (if she's overweight), her family history (if there's a relative with diabetes) and her history of past pregnancies (with gestational diabetes in a past pregnancy, or if she's had a stillbirth or a very large baby).
Gestational diabetes is treatable, especially if detected early in pregnancy. Treatment greatly lowers the baby's chances of having problems. With treatment, most women with gestational diabetes have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Without treatment, mothers with gestational diabetes tend to have very large babies and a harder time with labor and delivery. .
The children of mothers with gestational diabetes are at higher risk for respiratory distress syndrome (which makes it hard for the newborn baby to breathe); they are more likely to be overweight as children or adults: and they are at higher risk for getting diabetes themselves as they grow older.
See also: Diabetes