Goodbye Community. Hello New Website.

We're making some exciting changes to our website in the next few months, but sadly, this means our Community pages have now closed. We've redirected you here instead, but if you'd prefer you can join in the discussions on Facebook or contact our friendly Care team for advice and support.

Join us on Facebook Contact the Care team

I'm concerned about Gestational Diabetes

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Normally glucose levels are controlled by a hormone called insulin, but if the body cannot produce enough insulin or is becoming resistant, it can lead to increased levels of glucose.

If left untreated, gestational diabetes can increase the risk of certain birth complications, including babies born larger than their gestational age.

Gestational diabetes can occur anytime during pregnancy but usually develops after 28 weeks and normally resolves itself after the baby is born. However, women with this condition could be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

The symptoms of gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes can be difficult to diagnose as it often does not cause any symptoms. However, high levels of blood glucose (hyperglycaemia) can cause symptoms, including:

  • Increase thirst
  • Needing to urinate frequently
  • Having a dry mouth
  • Feeling unusually tired

Treating gestational diabetes

6Carbohydrates are the starches and sugars that are our main source of energy from food, so they can have a significant effect on blood sugar. Choosing wholegrain options increases your fibre intake, so including wholemeal bread and brown rice and pasta can help support your digestion while soluble fibre from oats, barley, potatoes (with the skin on), bananas, apples and carrots can help keep blood sugar under control.

You should avoid sugary food and drink, such as soft drinks, cakes, sweets and ready prepared meals that are often high in sugar and salt. But if you do fancy something sweet, fruit or natural yoghurt are good alternatives. Other good snacks include rice crackers, vegetable sticks or popcorn (plain with no added salt or sugar).

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is key, so continue to eat a range of vegetables, along with plenty of fish, eggs, lean meat and nuts, which are good sources of protein.

There is a lot to remember, so please do ask your dietitian or those caring for you if you have any questions or concerns about your pregnancy diet.

Who is at risk?

You may be at increased risk of gestational diabetes if:

  • You have had gestational diabetes before
  • One of your parents or siblings has diabetes
  • You have previously given birth to a baby who weighed 4.5kg (10Ibs) or more
  • Your BMI score is 30 or more
  • Your family origins are black Caribbean, South Asian (Bangladesh, India or Pakistan), or Middle Eastern (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, or UAE)

If you have any more questions or you'd like to know more about pregnancy, why not give our experts a call on 0800 977 8880 or ask us a question online, instantly, using Live Chat Monday to Friday, 8am- 8pm.

gestational diabetes

It's easily accessible any time of day - when you just want a bit of reassurance, especially out of hours*

*Comment from Careline research group.

gestational diabetes gestational diabetes

Over 50,000 mums turn to Careline every year

So if you'd like to chat about gestational diabetes with our midwife, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Talk to us 24/7 0800 977 8880


The experts you can turn to...

From pregnancy through to toddlerhood we're here to help

Simply hover over the pictures to find a little more out about our friendly team of experts.


Begonia, Midwife

I'm an experienced labour ward midwife. Becoming a mother or father is an amazing experience, but it also comes with lots of questions. I can help reassure you with queries relating to all stages of pregnancy through to labour and post-birth, so do feel free to get in touch.


Vanessa, Nutritionist

I'm a qualified nutritionist, and support parents and their little ones with their health and wellness. There is so much to know about nutrition and I can provide straightforward advice: whether it is what to eat during pregnancy or helping with fussy eating toddlers.

Baby Care Advisor

Prabhjot, Baby Care Advisor

I'm a mum myself and have lots of parenting tips that I've picked up over the years! If you need advice for looking after your baby or toddler, I'm here to help. I especially enjoy chatting all things feeding and weaning - a messy and exciting time for parent and baby!

Baby Care Advisor

Devita, Baby Care Advisor

I'm a busy mum of two and enjoy being able to help others with my own experience. I know the funny faces that babies can pull when weaning and love passing on my cooking tips. New parents always have lots of questions and there's no such thing as a silly one!

Back to top

Looking for something else?