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Talking to Your Doctor About Gestational Diabetes

Talk openly and often with your healthcare provider. It will help you make the best choices for your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will help you talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write down your questions so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get. Make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help, if needed.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. Ask where you can learn more. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask

About GDM

  • Will GDM hurt my unborn baby?
  • What effect will it have on my unborn baby?
  • Where can I find more information?
  • Can you recommend a support group for women with GDM?

About Your Risk of Getting GDM

  • Based on my health history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk of GDM?
  • What can I do to lower my risk of GDM?

About Treatment Choices

  • What treatments are used with GDM?
  • What treatment is right for me? Why?
  • How long will my treatment last?
  • What risks and side effects should I watch for?
  • Will it affect my normal activities?
  • What happens if I do nothing?
  • What medicines might help me?
    • Are medicines safe for my unborn baby?
    • What are the benefits/side effects of these medicines?
    • Will these medicines cause problems with the other medicines, over the counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I take?
    • Will I have to give myself daily shots of insulin?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • What lifestyle changes can I make to treat my GDM?
  • Should I follow a special diet? How do I start?
  • Can you recommend a registered dietitian?
  • Should I start an exercise program?
    • What kind of exercise is best?
    • How often should I exercise?
    • How do I get started exercising?

About Outlook

  • Will I have diabetes for the rest of my life?
  • Will my baby have diabetes?
  • What can I do to prevent this from happening in my next pregnancy?
  • What can I tell my husband, children, parents, and other family members and friends about my GDM?
  • What is my expected prognosis?
  • How often will I need checkups?
REFERENCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics. Practice Bulletin No. 190: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Feb;131(2):e49-e64.

Gestational diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/gestational-diabetes. Accessed January 14, 2020.

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/gestational-diabetes-mellitus-gdm. Updated December 18, 2019. Accessed January 14, 2020.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG  Last Updated: 1/14/2020