Full Guide on Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy

by Dr. Sandhya Rani

This is a type of diabetes diagnosed first during the time of pregnancy. Just like any other kind of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects the usage of glucose or sugar by the cells in your body. High blood sugar caused by this can have a negative impact on the pregnancy and the baby’s health itself.

Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise and in some cases, even medication helps control blood sugar levels in the body which helps avoid any difficulties at the time of delivery.

Pregnant women who suffer from gestational diabetes, their blood sugar levels usually come back to normal post-delivery. However, even then these patients are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Regular blood tests are needed to monitor any changes in sugar levels.

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms to look out for

Most women don’t see any gestational diabetes symptoms even if they have it, but in some cases, increased thirst and more-frequent urination are possible symptoms.

It’s extremely important to seek health care early to avoid the onset of gestational diabetes. The doctor can check your risk for gestational diabetes and overall wellness. 

Gestational diabetes or the risk of it is closely monitored by the doctor in the last three months of pregnancy to keep blood sugar levels at bay and maintain the baby’s health.

What causes Gestational Diabetes?

While excess weight before pregnancy often plays a role in a woman getting gestational diabetes, researchers still don't know why some women get it and others don’t.

Sugar levels in the body are maintained as various hormones work together to keep it that way. During pregnancy, hormone levels fluctuate and change, which makes it harder for the body to process blood sugar efficiently leading to rise in sugar levels

Risk factors to look out for

Some women are more susceptible to gestational diabetes than others. Risk factors include:

  • Overweight and obesity
  • A lack of physical activity
  • Previous gestational diabetes or prediabetes
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Diabetes in an immediate family member
  • Previously delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms).

Gestational Diabetes Complications

Gestational diabetes can lead to high blood sugar levels if it isn't managed correctly which also increases the likelihood of a C-section needed during delivery.

Complications that affect the baby include:

  • Excessive birth weight 
  • Early (preterm) birth
  • Serious breathing difficulties
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) 
  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life 
  • Stillbirth. 

Complications that may affect the mother:

  • High blood pressure and Preeclampsia 
  • Having a surgical delivery (C-section)
  • Future diabetes. 

How to prevent Gestational Diabetes?

When it comes to gestational diabetes, there’s no full proof way to avoid it but healthy habits beginning even before pregnancy can help. Good health choices also help prevent gestational diabetes in future pregnancies or developing type 2 diabetes.

Things to follow: 

  • Eat healthy foods – high-fibre fruits and vegetables. Having proper nutrition during pregnancy
  • Keep active
  • Start pregnancy at a healthy weight
  • Don't gain more weight than recommended. 

For any queries or treatment related to gestational diabetes, you can visit the best obstetric & gynaecology hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore

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