Pregnant South Asian women carry a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes, a condition that’s dangerous for both mother and child. Between 2 and 10 percent of all pregnancies each year are complicated by gestational diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gestational diabetes can develop during the second half of pregnancy (between 24 and 28 weeks) and usually goes away after the baby is born. Gestational diabetes describes any degree of glucose (sugar) intolerance that begins during pregnancy and requires insulin or diet modification as treatment, whether or not the condition persists after pregnancy.
High blood glucose during pregnancy may be due to hormones, your body’s insufficient use of insulin and/or poor diet habits. It doesn’t mean your baby will be born with diabetes or birth defects, but if you have gestational diabetes you’re at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. Other potential complications include:
- A large baby, which increases the chance of cesarean delivery (C-section).
- Low blood sugar in the baby at birth.
- Pre-eclampsia in the pregnant woman.
- Pre-term delivery.