A diagnosis of gestational diabetes among pregnant women often comes as a “massive shock” with the condition predicted to affect half a million Australian mums in the next decade.
Marking World Diabetes Day, Diabetes Australia CEO Greg Johnson warns gestational diabetes is now the fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia – with 38,000 women diagnosed across the last 12 months.
"It's often a big shock to women to be told they've got gestational diabetes. It can happen when there's no family history," he told the Hit Network.
"We really need to make sure there's appropriate support and management for gestational diabetes, with diabetes education and other supports during the pregnancy.
"This alarming growth over the next decade suggests were likely to see half a million women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during their pregnancy."
Mr Johnson said there was a number of factors behind the “alarming” increase in the condition among pregnant Australian women.
“In part it's due to women having babies at an older age, in part it's due to weight gain and women becoming pregnant at an unhealthy weight,” he said.
“In part it's due to the changing ethnicity of the Australian population with waves of migration of people from other parts of the world where there's a greater likelihood of gestational diabetes happening.”