Family Birthplace FAQ's

Q: What causes diabetes during pregnancy?


The onset of diabetes during pregnancy, called gestational diabetes, is thought to be a result of the pregnancy hormones’ effect on the body’s ability to produce insulin, which is critical to regulating the level of sugar in the blood.   Certain risk factors make a woman more prone to developing gestational diabetes, the most common being a prior pregnancy with gestational diabetes, but also; obesity, prior birth of a baby weighing over 9 pounds, prior stillbirth and/or family history of diabetes. Untreated gestational diabetes can cause serious complications for mother and baby; therefore pregnant women are tested for diabetes at 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. Treatment includes changes in diet and in some cases insulin injections.  Women with gestational diabetes are closely monitored during pregnancy, including daily monitoring of their blood sugars and watching the growth of their baby. After the baby is born, the diabetes subsides for most women, but having gestational diabetes does make a woman more likely to develop Type II diabetes later on in life.

Kathleen Gotzmann, MD
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Susquehanna Obstetrics and Gynecology

Q: I am seven months pregnant and plan on breastfeeding, but friends tell me it’s not always so easy. What are the benefits of breastfeeding and what happens if I have difficulties?


Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both women and children. Moms have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and breast cancer. Babies have a reduced risk of diabetes, obesity and childhood cancers and are also less likely to have ear infections, allergies, vomiting/diarrhea, respiratory illness and more.

Unfortunately for some women it can be a difficult and anxious process. Upper Chesapeake Medical Center offers a semi-weekly breastfeeding support group. Free and open to any mother, regardless of where she gave birth, the support group provides a setting for mothers to ask questions and receive support with breastfeeding from the expert lactation staff at UM UCMC. No registration is required. The group meets every Tuesday from 10am-11:30am in the Chesapeake Conference Center, just down the hall from the main hospital entrance.

University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center
Family Birthplace