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Talking to Your Doctor About Gestational Diabetes

Main Page | Risk Factors | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Screening | Reducing Your Risk | Talking to Your Doctor | Resource Guide

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with gestational diabetes . By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Gestational Diabetes
  • Will gestational diabetes hurt my unborn baby?
  • What effect will gestational diabetes have on my unborn baby?
  • Where can I find more information about gestational diabetes?
  • Can you recommend a support group for women with gestational diabetes?
About Your Risk of Developing Gestational Diabetes
  • Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk of gestational diabetes?
  • What specific things can I do to reduce my risk of developing gestational diabetes?
  • Is there a special diet?
    • If so, what is it?
    • Can you recommend a registered dietitian?
  • Is there a special exercise program?
    • If so, what is it?
    • How can I get started exercising?
About Treatment Options
  • What treatments are used with gestational diabetes?
  • What treatment is appropriate for me? Why?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • 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 are available to me?
    • Are medicines safe for my unborn baby?
    • What are the benefits/side effects of these medicines?
    • Will these medicines interact with other medicines, over the counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I am already taking?
    • Will I have to give myself shots of insulin everyday?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?
About Lifestyle Changes
  • What lifestyle changes can I make to treat my gestational diabetes?
  • Should I follow a special diet?
  • Are there any dietary changes I should make? How do I go about it?
  • Can you recommend a registered dietitian?
  • Should I begin 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 condition?
  • What is my expected prognosis?
  • How often will I need checkups?

References:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Diabetes and pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org. Accessed July 2010.

American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org.

National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website. Available at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov.



Last reviewed September 2014 by Andrea Chisholm, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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