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Pregnancy should be a time for celebration. After all, you are bringing new life into the world and that is always a reason to celebrate.
However, pregnancy comes with a lot of potential complications that a woman needs to watch out for, one of them being gestational diabetes. Find out more about the condition and how to avoid gestational diabetes in pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is diagnosed during a woman’s pregnancy. It normally occurs in the second or third trimester. This affects how the cells use glucose or sugar, and causes high blood sugar. This can also affect the growing baby’s health.
Though a serious condition that needs medical guidance, gestational diabetes can be managed. You should not worry too much if you get diagnosed with this condition.
If you follow the doctor’s orders, you and your baby can remain healthy, and you should be able to have a normal pregnancy. But it is important that you learn how to avoid gestational diabetes in pregnancy to ensure that you and your baby are safe.
The other good news is that for most women, the blood sugar level usually returns to normal after you give birth. You may just need to monitor your blood sugar more closely as you are now more prone to getting Type 2 Diabetes.
One of the causes of gestational diabetes is the lack of insulin, which is needed by your body during pregnancy. When your body lacks insulin, your body is not able to turn the glucose in your body into energy. This pushes your blood sugar level to rise, which causes gestational diabetes.
Though there are other risk factors that you cannot control, you can successfully avoid or manage your gestational diabetes to ensure a safe pregnancy. Consult your doctor on the best management plan.
You can discuss with your doctor how to avoid gestational diabetes in pregnancy. Those who have a higher probability of developing gestational diabetes are the following.
When these risk factors are present, your chances of having gestational diabetes during pregnancy increases.
Pregnant women often overlook the symptoms of gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes don’t usually have symptoms, or they may attribute the symptoms to their pregnancy. Most women only find out that they have gestational diabetes during a routine screening.
This is why expectant mothers are always tested for gestational diabetes. They are normally tested when they are in their 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. But even when a woman is just planning to conceive, it is advised that she read up on how to avoid gestational diabetes in pregnancy.
When a mother has gestational diabetes, she may feel hungrier than usual. This will lead her to eat more. She may also feel an unusual thirst or dry mouth, and will pee more often than normal. She may also experience nausea, blurred vision, snoring, and fatigue.
If you are over 35 years of age by the time you are pregnant, overweight, or have a family history of diabetes, your doctor may opt to screen for gestational diabetes on your initial visit. This is to ensure that you and the baby are healthy. This is also one of the ways on how to avoid gestational diabetes in pregnancy.
If you’re at average risk of gestational diabetes, you’ll likely have a screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
There are a number of different screening tests depending on your healthcare provider. These include:
In this test, you’ll drink a syrupy glucose solution. One hour later, you’ll have a blood test to measure your blood sugar level. A blood sugar level of 190 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 10.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) indicates gestational diabetes.
This test is similar to the initial test, but this time the sweet solution will have even more sugar. Your blood sugar will be checked every hour for three hours. If at least two of the blood sugar readings are higher than expected, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
There are different ways to handle gestational diabetes while pregnant. One of the more important matters is to get enough nutrition for both you and your baby. There are many resources online that offer the best meals plans for mothers who are addressing gestational diabetes.
Another means on how to avoid gestational diabetes in pregnancy is to exercise regularly. This is highly recommended as this will help keep the blood sugar under control. Exercise lowers your blood sugar, and what’s more, it can help relieve some common discomforts experienced during pregnancy. With your doctor’s approval, aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week.
If you have gestational diabetes, you may also need to monitor your blood sugar. And if needed, you may be advised by your doctor to take insulin. If your condition is on the riskier side, your doctor may prescribe other medication for you and your baby.
Though gestational diabetes normally disappears after you give birth, sometimes, it can be persistent or develop into Type 2 Diabetes. Schedule a visit to your doctor to monitor your health.
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes in pregnancy, there will be possible effects on the baby and your pregnancy.
Women with gestational diabetes may also develop polyhydramnios, which is a condition where there is too much amniotic fluid in the womb, or pre-eclampsia, a condition wherein your blood pressure is elevated. This may lead to high blood pressure. All of these are not good for your pregnancy
Another potential complication is jaundice in babies. Some babies develop low blood sugar or yellowing of the skin after being born, which may need treatment in the hospital.
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you can still enjoy the pregnancy. You may just need to be a little more mindful of what you eat and what you do.
Follow the general rules and tips on how to avoid gestational diabetes in pregnancy, and always consult your doctor. By following the advice, you can enjoy a safe and normal pregnancy.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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Overview: Gestational Diabetes https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gestational-diabetes/, Accessed 11 May 2020
Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/diabetes-gestational.html, Accessed 11 May 2020
Gestational Diabetes and a Healthy Baby? Yes https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/gestational-diabetes, Accessed 11 May 2020
How Gestational Diabetes Can Impact Your Baby https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/gestational-diabetes/how-will-this-impact-my-baby, Accessed 11 May 2020
Gestational Diabetes https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/gestational, Accessed 11 May 2020
Risk factors for gestational diabetes mellitus in a sample of pregnant women diagnosed with the disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4653418/, Accessed 11 May 2020
Gestational diabetes, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gestational-diabetes/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355345, Accessed 30 October 2020