What is Gestational Diabetes and Can it Hurt My Baby?
What is gestational diabetes?
At approximately 28 weeks or afterward during pregnancy, about 3 to 8 percent of women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It occurs only in pregnant women and goes away as soon as the baby is born as the woman’s body returns to normal.
Diabetes means that your blood glucose, or blood sugar is too high. Your body requires glucose for energy but excessive glucose in your blood can be dangerous. When a woman is pregnant, excessive glucose can be bad for the baby as well. It’s crucial to abide by your physician’s advice concerning blood glucose levels during your pregnancy to ensure a healthy mother and baby. About 200,000 pregnant women get the condition yearly, which is why it is one of the biggest health concerns associated with pregnancy.
How is it diagnosed?
Typically between the 24th and 28th week of the pregnancy, screening for the condition is advised. A test is given called the oral glucose tolerance test. This requires quickly drinking a sweet liquid containing 50g of glucose. The body assimilates the glucose quickly, making blood sugar levels rise within one hour. A sample of the blood will be taken during this time and tested to see how the glucose solution was metabolized by your body.
Why is it important to treat gestational diabetes?
There are numerous reasons for treating gestational diabetes because the risk of not treating this form of the disease is considerable. As far as the baby is concerned, inadequate treatment can result in the baby being too large which can create difficulties at birth. And the probability that the baby will have jaundice or low blood sugar is higher. They are also at a greater risk of being obese and developing type 2 diabetes as they get older.
In regards to the mother, if they fail to get treatment while pregnant they have a greater probability of developing type 2 diabetes also.
How is it treated?
The blood sugar will have to be tested at home up to 4 times daily. Meal planning will be advised to help manage blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates will have to be monitored closely because they affect the blood more than anything. A nutritionist can assist you in managing your blood glucose, while managing nutrition for you and your baby.
It is very important to be physically active and exercise regularly when you have gestational diabetes. Your doctor will advise you about the most beneficial kind of exercise to do during the pregnancy.
If your diabetes does not respond to diet and exercise alone, insulin may be required in order to control it.
To increase the likelihood of giving birth to a healthy baby if you experience gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, make certain that you follow your treatment program and speak with your doctor about any problems or questions you may have.