by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Here are some ways to lower the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM):

Not Smoking

Women who smoke should talk to their doctor about ways to quit to reduce the risk of GDM.


Physical activity can make it easier for the body to use glucose. This can lower the risk of GDM. Exercising 2.5 hours per week can help.

Exercises that do not require your body to bear any extra weight are best. Some examples are yoga, swimming, and walking.

Eating Healthy Foods

Nutrition is part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods can lower your risk of GDM. A healthy diet is one that is low in fat and has plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

Reaching a Healthy Weight Before Getting Pregnant

Women who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for GDM. Reaching a healthy weight before getting pregnant may lower the risk.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics. Practice Bulletin No. 190: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Feb;131(2):e49-e64.

Gestational diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: Accessed January 14, 2020.

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated December 18, 2019. Accessed January 14, 2020.

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