Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Julie Solberg


Gestational diabetes mellitus; Diet; Exercise; Cesarean section; Prevention; Female; Macrosomia; Pregnancy


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is becoming a more common diagnosis during pregnancy. GDM is defined as glucose intolerance diagnosed during pregnancy. Women diagnosed with GDM during pregnancy are at an increased risk for emergent or planned cesarean section delivery and the development of overt diabetes mellitus post pregnancy. Complications related to GDM include eclampsia, macrosomia, shoulder dystocia, stillbirth, and cesarean section delivery. Initial treatment consists of diet and exercise and if glucose can not be controlled then pharmacotherapy is introduced. A literature review was performed utilizing scientific databases, mesh terms, and keywords to gather statistically relevant research to analyze the effects of diet and exercise on the prevention of GDM and cesarean section delivery. Studies that met criteria for inclusion analyzed the effects of diet and exercise individually, as well as, combined effects on GDM prevention and cesarean section delivery. The current data available indicates that exercise is safe during pregnancy and when combined with diet prove beneficial in prevention of GDM and cesarean section delivery.