Gestational diabetes occurs in 5 to 10 per cent of
Australian women during pregnancy, and usually goes away once the
baby is born.
However, experts believe this could rise to 9 to 13 per cent of
women if new diagnostic criteria, developed by the Australian
Diabetes in Pregnancy Society, are adopted nationally.
With gestational diabetes, women continue to produce insulin
normally, but the hormones produced during pregnancy mean their
bodies are temporarily less responsive to insulin. This means
normal blood glucose levels cannot be maintained.
Of the women who develop gestational diabetes, about 17 per cent
go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, and up to 50 per
cent will develop type 2 diabetes within 30 years. Good management
after pregnancy helps to reduce the risk of developing type 2
diabetes later in life.