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Gestational diabetes service

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (glucose) that develops during pregnancy. It can happen at any stage but it’s more common in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes can cause problems for you and your baby during pregnancy and after birth. With screening, which can detect gestational diabetes, managing your lifestyle and support from our diabetic midwife team, you can reduce the risks to you and your baby.

Find out more about gestational diabetes including symptoms and treatment.

How the gestational diabetes screening process works

At your first antenatal appointment (also called a booking appointment), your doctor or midwife will ask you some questions. This will help them to find out if you’re at an increased risk of gestational diabetes.

If you have 1 or 2 risk factors, we’ll offer you a screening test.

What happens if I’m diagnosed with gestational diabetes?

A member of our diabetic midwife team will contact you. They’ll invite you to a video call and set you up on the GDm Health app to help you manage your condition.

Our team will talk you through:

  • your diet and signpost you to recipe ideas
  • how and when to take your blood sugars
  • how to use the equipment for taking your blood sugar levels
  • getting a prescription from your GP for insulin, needles and strips
  • how to submit your blood sugar levels using the GDm Health app.

After your video call, we’ll arrange a consultant appointment and scan for you. During your consultant appointment we’ll discuss:

  • a care plan with you for the rest of your pregnancy
  • how to use insulin and your dosage
  • hypo awareness and glucose tablets

Find out more about how to download and set up the the GDm Health app.

Watch the video below from our midwife Catherine explaining how to check your blood sugars:



What does this mean for me during my pregnancy?

You’ll need to adapt your diet to:

  • reduce the amount of sugar you eat and drink
  • reduce your carbohydrate intake.You’ll also need to take your blood sugar levels throughout the day. We may ask you to come to hospital for more clinic appointments and additional growth scans.

When to take your blood sugar levels

Breakfast – alternate days

Day 1

Take your blood sugar 1 hour after eating finishing your breakfast.
Your reading should be 7.7mmol or below
Once you go to bed, only drink water throughout the night.

Day 2

Fasting reading. Test your blood sugar just after you wake up. If you drink anything other than water or eat you’ll get a false high reading.

Your reading should be 5.2mmol or below

Lunch and evening meal – everyday

Test one hour after finishing both meals. Your ranges should be 7.7mmol or below.

What does this mean for my baby?

Controlling your blood sugar levels will stop excessive amounts of glucose from your blood stream being passed onto your baby. It will significantly reduce any risks and complications.

We’ll monitor your baby’s growth throughout your pregnancy. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of you having a large baby that needs to be delivered by cesarean

How often do you review my blood sugars?

We review them once a week, usually on Mondays. If you have high readings, we’ll contact you. If you notice you have a pattern of high readings for more than a week, please request a call back via the GDm Health app.

What happens after I give birth?

Gestational diabetes usually goes away after you give birth.
You’ll need a blood test to check for diabetes 6 to 13 weeks after giving birth, and once a year after that if the result is normal.

Antenatal hand expression

Some newborn babies have difficulty feeding maintaining their blood sugar levels in the first few days after birth. You can use colostrum if your baby needs extra feeds.
You can hand express and store colostrum from 36 weeks into pregnancy so that you have a supply of this milk ready to give to your baby.


Contact us

Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Wycombe Hospital
Stoke Mandeville Hospital

01296 255790

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 8am to 9am

Wycombe Hospital

01494 425575

Wednesdays, 8am to 9am and 2pm to 4pm