Women who have gestational diabetes benefit most from a team approach, with each member playing a specific role in the management and treatment of the condition. However, the specific members of the team will vary.
In general, women have a number of choices in how they get prenatal care. They might go to an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN), a nurse-midwife, a family physician, or another health care provider. These health care providers are usually the first line of defense against gestational diabetes because they do the initial testing for the condition.
Once you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, these providers may decide to stay on your team, working with other providers to manage your care, or they may suggest that one of the following specialists leads your team:
- A maternal-fetal medicine specialist—a doctor who cares for a woman during pregnancy, labor, and delivery only; or
- Another doctor who specializes in treating pregnant women with high-risk conditions.
Should you need more extensive treatment and management to keep your gestational diabetes under control, it is likely that you will have to see one of these specialists to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
You should also have a registered dietitian, a person with a bachelor's degree or higher in dietetics, who is registered with the American Dietetic Association (ADA), on your team. Your health care provider can recommend a dietitian, or you can call the ADA at 1-800-366-1655 to find one.
In addition, you may have one or both of the following providers on your team:
- A diabetes specialist—a diabetologist (a doctor who specializes in diabetes care), endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in treating hormone-related conditions, like diabetes), or another medical doctor who provides health services specifically for diabetics.
- A diabetes educator—a certified diabetes educator (CDE), nurse educator, registered nurse (RN), or another health care provider who can explain gestational diabetes and help you manage your condition during your pregnancy.
Keep in mind that your treatment and management team may include other members, too. This booklet uses the term health care provider to describe your doctor and the other members of your health care team.
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