Gestational Diabetes: Managing Risk During and After Pregnancy Video – Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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Ellen Seely, MD, Director of Clinical Research in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension at Brigham and Women’s Hospital discusses the health risks associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during and after pregnancy. Dr. Seely also describes Balance After Baby, a web-based program designed to educate women on eating healthfully and increasing their physical activity, with the goal of helping them lose their pregnancy weight within a year of giving birth.

GDM is a type of diabetes that occurs only in pregnancy. It comes on in the second half of pregnancy and it goes away after delivery. In the US it’s estimated that five percent of all pregnancies are complicated by GDM. The rates of GDM are higher in Hispanic and non-white populations, ranging from ten to 20 percent of all pregnancies.

Obesity is one of the main risk factors for GDM. In the United States, most health centers screen all women for gestational diabetes because obesity is becoming so common in the overall population.

Gestational diabetes can impact the health of the mother and the fetus, as well as the newborn. Women with GDM have an increased risk of preeclampsia, which is a type of high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a serious condition that can lead to early delivery. Women who have gestational diabetes may also have larger babies, increasing their risk of cesarean section.

While GDM goes away after pregnancy, the health risks persist. Research has found that 50 to 70 percent of women who have gestational diabetes may develop Type 2 diabetes later in life. Research has also found that babies born to mothers with GDM, have a higher birth weight and may become obese during adolescence, increasing their risk of developing diabetes and other conditions such as high blood pressure.

The Pregnancy and Diabetes Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital offers multidisciplinary care to women with GDM. The program includes a high risk obstetrician, two diabetes specialists, a nutritionist, and a nurse practitioner who is certified in diabetes education. The first approach to treatment is to control blood glucose levels with healthy eating and physical activity. Lifestyle changes, healthy eating and physical activity, are effective in controlling blood glucose levels about 75 percent of women with GDM. If the lifestyle changes don’t work, insulin therapy is started to control a mother’s blood sugar for the rest of her pregnancy.

Learn more about the Pregnancy and Diabetes Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital:

Read the Gestational Diabetes: Managing Risk During and After Pregnancy video transcript:
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Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar in pregnant women who haven’t had diabetes before. For tips and information watch Rei’s story.

Around 16 in 100 pregnant women get gestational diabetes. Up to 50% of them will go on to develop type 2 diabetes within four years of giving birth.

To find out how to look after yourself if you have gestational diabetes – or how to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes – go to
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  1. Deepika Vasava

    thank you so much for this information I have type 2 diabetes and I am pregnant now. what will be bad effect to my baby?

  2. Brigham And Women's Hospital

    Some viewers have asked what they should do if they have been unable to lose weight after delivery. Here is Dr. Seely's response:
     "Many women have difficulty losing their pregnancy weight. There can be a number of reasons for this. One common reason is that although the women are eating very healthy food, the portions sizes may be too large. Seeing a dietician or nutritionist can be very helpful in this situation.

    Another reason is that some women develop underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) about 6 months after delivery. Many of these women recover but some have long lasting underactive thyroid which slows metabolism and decreases the ability to lose weight. Women who are not losing their pregnancy weight over the year after delivery despite eating healthy and engaging in physical activity should see their care provider for advice."

  3. Sadia A. Ahmad

    I am so sad today i got to know i have gastational diabetes 😔

  4. SMSR

    Ya gestational diabetes make the mum bit worried.😞

  5. Kawayoporu

    So your first child is a boy and is your other a girl or you have a daughter too?

  6. Cresty Dela Pena

    I was diagnose also today with gestational diabetes and I am 28 weeks pregnant. it's stressing me so much.

  7. Brittany Boyd

    I needed to see this bc I was just diagnosed & can’t stop crying

  8. Sunny Tex

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Did you take any medications?

  9. Shelby T Mitchell

    Contact Dr. IGUDIA on YouTube for Diabetes disease cure and any other diseases. He cured my Diabetes disease with his herbal medication and I'm so grateful

  10. Altaf VDD

    It is hard, out of first week with gestational diabetes experience, but we will manage it. We are supper mamies 😉♥️💕👍💕

  11. Andrew Parker

    I really want to appreciate Doctor Salami on his YouTube channel for curing my diabetes.All thanks to him if you suffer from any kind of illness


    Very brave and patient woman


    I got rid of my type2 diabetes with a herbal cure remedy from dr Oyalo . I met dr Oyalo on YouTube channel with his name dr Oyalo and after consultations I got his cure and it really work for me. You too can try. His channel is (Dr Oyalo)

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