For most women, gestational diabetes doesn't cause noticeable signs or symptoms. Rarely, gestational diabetes may cause excessive thirst or increased urination.

When to see a doctor

If possible, seek health care early — when you first think about trying to get pregnant — so your doctor can evaluate your risk of gestational diabetes as part of your overall childbearing wellness plan. Once you become pregnant, your doctor will address gestational diabetes as part of your regular prenatal care. If you develop gestational diabetes, you may need more frequent checkups. These are most likely to occur during the last three months of pregnancy, when your doctor will carefully monitor your blood sugar level and your baby's health.

Your doctor may refer you to additional health professionals who specialize in diabetes management, such as an endocrinologist, a registered dietitian or a diabetes educator. They can help you learn to manage your blood sugar level during your pregnancy.

To make sure that your blood sugar level has returned to normal after your baby is born, your health care team will check your blood sugar right after delivery and again in six weeks. Once you've had gestational diabetes, it's a good idea to have your blood sugar level tested regularly. The frequency of blood sugar tests will in part depend on your test results soon after you deliver your baby.

Mar. 24, 2011