Diabetes in Women: Resource Overview

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not make enough insulin or does not use it efficiently. Insulin is a hormone that helps balance the amount of glucose in your blood. When diabetes is present prior to a woman’s pregnancy, it is called pregestational diabetes. (When it arises during pregnancy, it is gestational diabetes.)

Pregestational diabetes can affect pregnancy in many ways. The possible complications of pregestational diabetes include birth defects, high blood pressure, hydramnios (too much amniotic fluid), and fetal macrosomia (excessive fetal growth). Ob-gyns, physicians whose primary responsibility is women’s health, play a leading role in managing diabetes in women.

Here are the key publications and resources for ob-gyns, other women’s health care providers, and patients from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other sources.

Jump to:
Resources for Ob-Gyns and Women’s Health Care Providers
Resources for Women and Patients
External Organizations 

Resources for Ob-Gyns and Women’s Health Care Providers

Practice Bulletin: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (members only)

“Gestational Diabetes Mellitus,” issued by ACOG in July 2017, provides evidence-based guidelines for the screening, diagnosis, treatment, and management of gestational diabetes. Drug therapies, such as insulin, and alternative treatments, such as nutrition therapy, are discussed.

Practice Bulletin: Fetal Macrosomia (members only)

“Fetal Macrosomia,” issued by ACOG in November 2016, addresses the management of fetal macrosomia, a type of excessive fetal growth that is a common complication of maternal diabetes. The document reviews the possible complications of suspected fetal macrosomia and available methods for diagnosis.

Practice Bulletin: Pregestational Diabetes Mellitus (members only)

“Pregestational Diabetes Mellitus,” issued by ACOG in March 2005 (reaffirmed 2016), provides evidence-based guidelines for the management and treatment of pregestational diabetes, which is defined as diabetes that existed prior to pregnancy. It also reviews possible diabetes-related obstetric complications.

Patient Tear Pad: Gestational Diabetes Follow-Up Instructions

The “Gestational Diabetes Follow-Up Instructions” tear pads were created by ACOG in both English and Spanish to help ob-gyns provide postpartum screening to patients who developed gestational diabetes. Postpartum follow-up helps prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, which develops in the decades after the affected pregnancy in 15 to 50% of women with gestational diabetes.


Resources for Women and Patients

Patient FAQ: Gestational Diabetes

“Gestational Diabetes,” issued by ACOG in September 2013, is designed to answer patients’ questions about gestational diabetes. The FAQ covers what causes gestational diabetes, how it affects pregnancy, the risks it poses for both mom and baby, and its management and treatment.

Patient FAQ: A Healthy Pregnancy for Women with Diabetes

“A Healthy Pregnancy for Women with Diabetes,” issued by ACOG in December 2011, provides information on how diabetes can affect pregnancy. It addresses how diabetes can be controlled during pregnancy with diet, exercise, and medication.

Patient FAQ: Diabetes and Women

“Diabetes and Women,” issued by ACOG in February 2016, discusses the impact of diabetes on women. It provides information on the types of diabetes, the symptoms of diabetes in women, and how women with diabetes can prepare for pregnancy.

Patient FAQ: Heart Health for Women

“Heart Health for Women,” issued by ACOG in March 2016, is designed to answer patient questions about how heart disease affects women. It provides information on the risk factors for heart disease, including diabetes.


External Organizations

The American Diabetes Association leads the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fights for those affected by diabetes. The website includes a section on diabetes in women, which offers important information on how diabetes affects both mothers and their unborn children.

  • Visit the American Diabetes Association website:


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality women’s health care, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998