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Q&A: Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors?

Why does gestational diabetes occur? Are there any factors that put me at particular risk?

Gestational diabetes occurs for two reasons. One is the mother's body produces less insulin during pregnancy. The second is the mother's body can't use insulin effectively. Both situations result in high blood-sugar levels. Risk factors for developing gestational diabetes include:

[  ] Over 30 years old
[   ] Obesity
[  ] Family history of diabetes
[  ] Gestational diabetes in previous pregnancy
[   ] Previously gave birth to baby who weighed over 9½ pounds
[   ] Previously had a stillborn baby
[  ] Black-African/American, Latina/Hispanic, Asian, Native American/ Pacific Islander

A woman's weight when she was born may also be an indicator of her chances of developing gestational diabetes. One study showed women who were in the bottom 10th percentile of weight when they were born were 3 to 4 times more likely to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

| From _ Your Pregnancy Week By Week, 6/e by Glade Curtis, M.D. and Judith Schuler, M.S. Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2007. _ |