West Virginia Bureau for Public Health
350 Capitol Street • Room 206 • Charleston, WV 25301-3715
phone: (304) 558-0644 • fax: (304) 558-1553

gestational diabetes

The incidence of gestational diabetes has risen from 2.5% to 18.5% or more, and West Virginians are known to have one of the highest rates of diabetes in the nation.  Dr. Brenda Dawley, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Joan C Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University and Laura Mullarky, RN CDE a Diabetes Nurse Specialist, from the Cabell Huntington Hospital Perinatal Center present this 60 minute webinar, Gestational Diabetes.  This educational offering is sponsored by WV Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health, Department of Health and Human Resources through a grant funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human Services, and awarded by The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors; Charleston Area Medical Center, and the WV Perinatal Partnership.   Participants will be able to:  1) discuss the latest screening methods to diagnose gestational diabetes;  2) understand the physiology of gestational diabetes and its effect on the fetus and neonate;  3) describe the newer medical management options for gestational diabetes; and 4) counsel patients regarding life style changes for improved outcomes.

Physicians- The CAMC Health Education and Research Institute designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category I Credit(s) ™.

Nurses- This offering has been approved for 1 contact hours.

Program Viewing – No Charge
Credit – $5
(Download CME forms using link on top right of the player)

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Click here to view Guidelines for Gestational Diabetes

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What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops or is first recognized during pregnancy.

How do I know if I am at risk?

You are at risk for gestational diabetes if you

Had a previous pregnancy with gestational diabetes.     

Had a baby born weighing over 9 pounds.  

Are overweight or obese.  

Are more than 25 years old.  

Have a family history of diabetes.  

Are African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.

Are being treated for HIV.  

How can I find out if I have gestational diabetes?

Most women are screened for gestational diabetes at 24-28 weeks gestation during prenatal care.

If you or your health care provider has concerns, your health care provider may screen you earlier.

Why is gestational diabetes a problem?

For you:

Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increased.  

You are more likely to have a large baby (a condition known as macrosomia). This may cause discomfort during the last few months of pregnancy.

Having a large baby may lead to a cesarean section (C-section). If you had a C-section, it may take longer for you to recover after the birth.

For your baby:

Large babies are more likely to suffer from birth trauma.  

Soon after delivery, your baby may have low blood sugar.  This can be treated with early feedings and should not result in any long-term consequences after birth.

What should I do before becoming pregnant?

You should take the following steps before becoming pregnant:  

Talk with a health care provider about how to reduce your risk of gestational diabetes before becoming pregnant.

Be physically active. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week. This could be brisk walking, yard work, and actively playing with children, for example, or riding bicycles or playing soccer.

Make healthy food choices by eating a variety of foods that are low in fat and reducing the number of calories eaten per day.

            Maintain a healthy weight.

What can I do during pregnancy if I have gestational diabetes?

Go to all of your prenatal visits.  

Follow your health care providers’ recommendations for controlling your blood sugar. This can help reduce your risk of having a large baby.

Stay physically active.

Make healthy food choices.

Ask your health care provider to see a dietician or a diabetes educator.

What can I do after my pregnancy to reduce my chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the future?

Follow up regularly with your health care provider.

Get tested for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born, then every 1 to 3 years.

Stay physically active.

Make healthy food choices.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Ask your health care provider about type 2 diabetes prevention and care after delivery.

Ask to see a dietitian or a diabetes educator to learn more about type 2 diabetes prevention.

For more information about gestational diabetes and the prevention of type 2 diabetes, visit:






For more information about pregnancy care and self management of gestational diabetes during pregnancy, visit:




For information about healthy food choices, physical activity, and obesity prevention, visit:


For information about the West Virginia Right From The Start Program, visit:








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