What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy in women who don’t already have diabetes. Around 2%-10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes every year. Managing this harm diabetes can help make sure a pregnant woman has a healthy pregnancy and baby.
What causes Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin during pregnancy. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in the body for use as energy. During the pregnancy, the body makes more hormones and goes through similar changes. While the body goes through these changes, the cells that use insulin become less effective.
Problems of Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancies
An extra large baby. Unmanaged diabetes can result in the baby’s blood sugar to increase.
C-Section (Cesaran Section). A diabetic woman has a higher chance of needing a C-Section to deliver the baby, which causes a longer recovery from childbirth.
High Blood Pressure (Preeclampsia). Preeclampsia is condition that needs to managed by a doctor since it could be harmful to both the mother and the unborn baby.
Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia). An unborn baby can quickly develop a low blood sugar after birth if the mother’s diabetes was not well controlled.
This diabetes typically does not have any symptoms and a medical history or risk factors may suggest gestational diabetes, but a woman should consult a doctor to know for sure.
Go to all prenatal appointments and follow a treatment plan, including:
- Checking blood sugar to make sure levels stay in a healthy range.
- Eating healthy food in the right amounts at the right times.
- Being active. Regular physical activity that is moderately intense lowers blood sugar.
- Monitoring the baby while checking regularly with a doctor can result in the baby’s growth and development.
The Fourth Trimester
The Fourth Trimester is the postpartum period, defined as the 12 weeks after delivery, an important time for a new mother and her family. Not everyone has heard of this term, but every mother will go through it. It is a time of great physical and emotional change as the baby adjusts to being outside the womb, and the mother adjusts to motherhood.
Complications of pregnancy such as hypertensive disorders and gestational diabetes can affect a woman’s long-term health and require specific attention. It is advised by doctors that women diagnosed with diabetes should receive a 75-g two-hour fasting oral glucose tolerance test between four and 12 weeks postpartum but 20%-40% of women do not get to that appointment as they neglect their own health after a baby’s birth.
For more information regarding Gestational Diabetes, please listen to our podcast episode here!