Gestational diabetes and your mental wellbeing
Being diagnosed and treated for gestational diabetes affects different people in different ways. Some women seem to take it in their stride, while others find it very difficult.
A diagnosis of gestational diabetes can change your pregnancy experience overnight, with the extra checks and healthcare appointments. Some find it makes them feel very anxious about their baby, while others feel low about the need to change their diet or take medication. Some feel a sense of loss for the type of pregnancy or birth that they hoped for – although many women who have gestational diabetes do go on to have a normal delivery.
If you are feeling emotional, try to share your feelings with supportive people who you find easy to talk to, whether your partner, friends or relatives, or an approachable healthcare professional. You may also find it helpful to connect with other women with gestational diabetes, or who had it in the past, whether locally or online.
There is a lot of information on wellbeing in pregnancy in the mental health section of our website, including tips on lowering stress levels.
"I was put in a group of women with gestational diabetes. That was really lovely. There was somebody just a few days ahead of me in the whole process, so she could tell me what to expect. It was really good."Katie, mum of two
If you are struggling to cope, talk to your GP. They may be able to offer you additional support. Diabetes UK also has a variety of support options.
The emphasis is on trying to keep the birth as normal as possible unless there is a particular reason to do things differently.
Women who are overweight are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, although many women who develop it are not overweight at all.
Exercise during pregnancy has a wide range of benefits for you and your baby. If you have gestational diabetes, you have even more reason to exercise: it can help reduce your blood glucose.
If you have gestational diabetes, your diet will become an important part of managing your condition and keeping your pregnancy safe.
Gestational diabetes is treated by making changes to diet and exercise to manage blood sugar levels, and using medication if necessary.
If you have gestational diabetes, measuring your own blood glucose levels will become something you do regularly.
Some women can control their glucose levels through diet and exercise alone but the majority will need to take tablets or injections to help control it.
ℹLast reviewed on June 23rd, 2015. Next review date June 23rd, 2018.