Four Important Points about Gestational Diabetes that can save your newborn – You cannot miss Number Three
Gestational diabetes happens to develop during pregnancy and like other forms of diabetes, it is closely associated with how your cells utilize blood sugar. It can be extremely dangerous for the mother as well as the baby and can have lifelong implications like Type 2 Diabetes. Here are some important points that you ought to know if you are an expecting parent and take appropriate preventive steps in time:
Causes of gestational diabetes –
Who can get it and whether you are safe or not
Risks associated with gestational diabetes and its diagnosis
1. Causes of gestational diabetes:
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that affects some of pregnant women. As per several researches it has been found out that close to two to ten percent of pregnant women get affected by it. While diabetes involves somewhat complex biochemical reactions in the body, here is a brief explanation of the same.
Your body breaks down food into a simple sugar named glucose, which is utilized as a fuel with the help of a hormone named insulin. However, there are two situations in which glucose can remain underutilized in the body:
- The body does not produce enough insulin
- The body does not respond well to insulin
During pregnancy the body produces certain hormones which make the cells become unresponsive to insulin, thereby interfering in the absorption of glucose in the body. For most pregnant women, this doesn’t mean serious problem as the pancreas secretes enough of it. However, when the pancreas fail to produce the requisite amount of insulin, this results in a problem.
Once the baby is born most of the women do not remain diabetic. But they remain at risk of catching the same during future pregnancy and Type 2 diabetes later on in their lives.
2. Who can get it and whether you are safe or not
Your doctor would recommend blood sugar screening test between Week 24 and Week 28 which determines whether you have gestational diabetes.
Who is at risk?
You can be at risk of gestational diabetes if:
- You are obese (Body Mass Index above 30)
- Your contacted gestational diabetes during previous pregnancy
- There is presence of sugar in your urine
- There is long family history of diabetes in your family
- You are over 35 years of age
- You have high blood pressure
3. Risks associated with gestational diabetes and its diagnosis
There are multiple risks associated with poorly managed gestational diabetes, some of which are mentioned below:
- If there is too much sugar in your blood, it is going to end up in the blood of your baby. This will result in excess production of insulin in his body. Excess sugar and insulin will make your baby put on a lot of weight, which might not be good for his health in the long run.
- You can face pregnancy related complications as when the larger than usual baby enters the birth canal his shoulders can get stuck there. Besides facing avoidable problems in giving birth, you can end up hurting your unborn baby. In rare cases the babies happen to suffer permanent problems.
- You are going to have excessively painful natural childbirth or large episiotomy that is going to be highly uncomfortable.
- The doctor may recommend cesarean section for you in case the baby is unusually large. However, you may find solace in the fact that only a small fraction of babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes happen to be unusually large.
4. Treatment and control of gestational diabetes
It is recommended that you get in touch with an experienced dietitian who can recommend a well laid out diet and snack plan taking into consideration various factors such as your weight, age, height and activity levels.
It is quite important that the diet recommended by the dietitian has appropriate amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. On your part, you have to part ways with sugary foods like fast food, cakes, cookies and cola.
This sounds too easy, but it is going to need a lot of self control and conviction to follow this diet plan. On the flip side it presents an opportunity to create a healthier diet plan for everybody else in the family. If everyone is eating the same foods, you are not going to feel deprived.
While strenuous activity is not recommended for pregnant women, you can always opt for light exercises such as yoga. Swimming during pregnancy is going to be okay for you in case you have been practicing swimming before pregnancy. You can consult your doctor or midwife before taking up swimming if you haven’t done that before.
In case none of the above methods seem to be working, your doctor may recommend diabetes medication that is safe for your baby. Insulin injection is another safe option that can be explored as well.