Carolinas HealthCare System

About three to five percent of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. It is different from type 1 diabetes, in which the body produces no insulin and insulin must be injected, and from the more common type 2 diabetes. Patients with type 2 diabetes suffer from varying levels of insulin resistance and may control blood glucose levels through diet and exercise, with oral medication, or with insulin injections.

Gestational diabetes usually develops about midway through a pregnancy, at about 20 to 24 weeks, and is caused by the changes in hormones in your body during pregnancy. In addition to supplying your baby with nutrients and water from your circulation, the placenta produces a number of hormones vital to the pregnancy. Some of these have a blocking effect on insulin. As the placenta grows larger, more hormones are produced, and the greater the insulin resistance becomes. In most women, the pancreas is able to make additional insulin to overcome this insulin resistance. When the pancreas makes all the insulin it can, and there still isn't enough to overcome the effect of the placenta's hormones, gestational diabetes results.

Our physicians and certified diabetes educators are here to help you manage your diabetes for the duration of your pregnancy. We offer classes and individual appointments to help educate you on the full spectrum of diabetes care.

The following steps can help you achieve a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby: 

  • Following an appropriate meal plan
  • Frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG)
  • Administering insulin injections and knowing how to adjust the doses depending on results of SMBG
  • Controlling/treating hypoglycemia
  • Adding or maintaining an appropriate level of physical activity

The diabetes education and self-management program at Carolinas Diabetes Center is provided by caring professionals who work closely with each patient to assist in creating individualized lifestyle plans. This comprehensive program has been awarded Recognition by the American Diabetes Association.

Classes and individual appointments are available. Please call 704-446-2320 for more information.