Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops in pregnant women in 2-3% of pregnancies. For whatever reason, the blood sugar levels become abnormal during pregnancy due to a mild or sometimes severe carbohydrate intolerance. The potential for fetal and neonatal loss is higher in this category and is therefore an area of great concern. Proper prenatal care allows for many complications to be avoided. Gestational diabetes requires a good amount of medical attention. There may be several doctors involved when dealing with this type of diabetes.
Despite the fact that gestational diabetes will generally clear up in the majority of women after the delivery of the child, it also means that the chance for these women to develop diabetes mellitus within the next 15-20 years increases by 50%.
The risk of complications is high with gestational diabetes. They can include pre-term labor, pregnancy induced hypertension, infections or delivery problems. This makes proper prenatal care a must.
Those at risk for gestational diabetes include women who:
•have had multiple pregnancies
•have had previously unexplained stillbirths
•have given birth to babies 9 lbs or more
•have gained an excessive amount of weight during pregnancy
•come from a high risk ethnic groups such as Hispanic, Native
American or African American
•have a previous history of high blood sugar or previous
pregnancies with gestational diabetes
•have a family history where their mother or sisters had
As with other types of diabetes, good control of blood sugar levels are the key to managing gestational diabetes properly. A proper diet and watching weight gain while keeping regular appointments with health care professionals is key to ensuring the baby’s safety during its 9 month gestation period. Most women who actively participate in the proper management of their gestational diabetes go into labor at term and deliver naturally.
That which is affecting the mother during pregnancy will also affect the baby. When blood sugar levels stay above normal, the fetus’ pancreas will in turn put out more of its own insulin to help control its own blood sugar levels. What can happen in these types of incidences is that the insulin will act as a growth hormone and increase the baby’s size. The result is macrosomia, a term that means ‘large body’. This can cause trouble as far as delivery is concerned. These complications can be prevented with proper prenatal care.
Gestational diabetes is a big fear of most pregnant women and it can be less of a problem with the right knowledge. Always keep your weight gain under control and visit your doctor regularly.
About The Author: This content is provided by Dr Pieter de Wet a general practitioner and in practice for 20 years. Get your diabetes, diabetes symptoms and diabetes treatment advice at http://www.thediabetesdoc.com