Gestational Diabetes On The Rise

Lack of screening for this condition during pregnancy puts mom-to-be and baby at risk.


A study of nearly 1 million pregnant U.S. women shows that up to one-third are not being screened for gestational diabetes and could develop this condition while they're expecting without even knowing it, USA Today reports.

A lack of diagnosis means that the diabetes is not being treated, which puts these babies at risk.

Researchers, using lab results from Quest Diagnostic, found that there are an estimated 135,000 cases of gestational diabetes reported each year, a number that could double if a proposed universal pregnancy screening recommendation goes into effect, USA Today reports. Their findings were published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology,

The study also revealed that 19 percent of women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes were not screened for diabetes in the six months after giving birth, despite the recommendation that women receive a follow-up screening between six and 12 weeks postpartum.

With cases of gestational diabetes soaring in pregnant women, it's more important than ever to get tested if you're a mom-to-be—especially because you and your baby might be at risk without even knowing it. Getting tested is easy. Take a look at our Testing Your Blood Sugar page to learn more about the two-step exam process to determine if you have this condition.

Have no fear, all is not lost! There are measures you can take to prevent gestational diabetes. The first line of defense is typically maintaining a normal blood sugar level throughout the day, usually through frequent healthy snacks and meals, and daily exercise.

— Maria Vega