Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes

Pregnancy and gestational diabetes should not pose a problem. Emotional factors are paramount but not insurmountable. What is this condition about? Well, it is high blood glucose that happens only in 3 to 12% of all pregnant women who do not already have the condition. The symptoms are excessive thirst, hunger or fatigue but many do not become aware of these.

Glucose screening is used to diagnose this condition. Ask for this if you are at risk, have a family history and a personal history from a previous pregnancy, have high blood pressure, overweight and over 25 years old. They say now that eating 18 jelly beans will be better than having to drink what they usually give one to diagnose this condition.

With pregnancy and gestational diabetes, the condition usually ceases to exist after delivery. It happens during the 24rth to the 28th week when the body produces a lot of hormones to help the baby grow. These hormones block the insulin the pancreas make forcing them to work a lot harder. They try to make more insulin but sometimes they cannot keep up. What happens then?

The blood glucose goes up. This high blood glucose makes the baby grow large and produce insulin. Put yourself on the alert but this should not unduly concern you because most pregnancy and gestational diabetes cases result in healthy babies. The condition has to be treated though.

The important thing with pregnancy and gestational diabetes is to make sure the blood glucose level is kept near the normal target. This will help prevent predicament for both the mother and the baby. So diet and blood sugar level should be monitored closely.

The trouble with the above treatment is that only one-third are able to manage the condition through diet and blood glucose monitoring according to a research conducted in California so insulin may be necessary. It is important to remember that the mother should not take hypoglycemic drugs because of possible harmful effects on the fetus. One must be in the care of an obstetrician, a diabetes specialist and a dietitian.

There are guidelines to follow regarding diet and weight gain during pregnancy. It really depends on three factors. What are they? Your current health, your weight and the size of the fetus. These should all be considered in nutritional planning.


Include all the basic food groups in planning the meal. Total weight gain during pregnancy should not be over 25 to 35 pounds. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and concentrated sweets. And check the blood sugar before breakfast and one hour after each meal or the doctor may prescribe a different schedule for testing.

Let's see the profile of who usually develops this condition. Gestational diabetes usually develops more likely in overweight women before pregnancy and who are over the age of 35. The chance also increases with the age of the mother. One also is likely to develop it if one's own mother had this condition.

Those experiencing pregnancy and gestational diabetes have a greater chance of developing the Type 2 condition. Ask the doctor to check the blood glucose to make certain the condition has not arrived at the doorstep. Around 20% develop Type 2, that is if there are no other risk factors.

A Caesarian section may be indicated because pregnancy and gestational diabetes usually result in large babies who may not fit through the birth canal. Talk to the doctor about this. The pelvis may be too small so one will know in advance whether the delivery will be through Caesarian section.

Here are the reasons why it is recommended to have a Caesarian section:

  • Multiple birth
  • Fetal distress
  • Long-drawn-out labor
  • Breech position of the baby
  • Horizontal position of the baby
  • Mother's health problems
  • Mother has sexually transmitted disease that could be passed on to the baby through vaginal delivery
  • Mother is HIV positive
  • History of problematic deliveries

What does one do after birth? One may think diabetes is gone but to be sure, have a glucose tolerance test. If the test results are normal then it may really be gone. If it continues to be high, then you may have Type 2. Take care of it to avoid complications.

Should one breast feed? Yes, don't listen to people who say you can't. If the blood sugar is controlled and the baby is healthy, it's good to breast feed the baby. Just watch that while you're breast feeding , your level may drop so you just have to eat more.

Even when on insulin, you can still breast feed because it does not affect the baby at all. Besides, studies have shown that breast-fed babies have less chance to develop Type 1 or Type 2. Really the danger to breast feeding is to you. Just control the diabetes so you can be as healthy as possible.

After the birth, there is a huge lifestyle adjustment to make and women can become overwhelmed by it all. This might make them suffer from postpartum depression with the accompanying loss of interest, changes in sleep and appetite and sadness. Just keep monitoring the blood glucose level to avoid mood swings.

There you have the information you need to deal with pregnancy and gestational diabetes. With modern management women can look forward to a happy and healthy life for themselves and their babies. Of course management should include education, careful monitoring of blood sugar level, proper meal planning and exercise.

Quick tip: The latest is still on preventing pregnancy complications by starting treatment right away.

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