World Diabetes Day – 14th November 2020

Today we are going to talk about gestational diabetes; this is an illness in which the blood sugar levels rise during pregnancy. It is a type of diabetes that is primarily seen in a pregnant woman with no diabetes history before pregnancy. The test for gestational diabetes is conducted between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. The condition can be managed by following a healthy lifestyle and consuming a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. Gestational diabetes usually goes away post-delivery. However, it can affect the baby’s health, and raise the risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.

There are two classes of gestational diabetes, women with class A1 can manage it with a healthy diet and proper exercise while class A2 needs to be managed with insulin therapy or other medications.

Gestational diabetes in pregnancy can lead to:

An Oversized Baby

Diabetes, if not treated well, risks the newborn with high blood sugar. The baby is “overfed” and becomes oversized. In addition to causing the woman pain during the last few months of pregnancy, for both the mother and the infant, an oversized baby may lead to complications during childbirth. To deliver a baby, the mother might need a C-Section. Due to pressure on the shoulder during birth, the baby can also be affected with nerve damage during vaginal birth (shoulder dystocia).

Casarean Section

A C-section is a surgery to deliver the baby from the womb of the mother. A woman suffering from diabetes has a greater risk of having a C-section. When the baby is born through a C-section, recovery from childbirth takes longer for the mother (and increases chances of infection).

High Blood Pressure

When a pregnant woman is suffering from high blood pressure, it leads to protein in her urine, swelling in fingers and toes and this condition is known as preeclampsia. It is a serious problem that needs to be watched closely and managed by a doctor. High blood pressure can cause harm to both the woman and her unborn baby. Women with diabetes have high blood pressure more often than women without diabetes.

Low Blood Sugar

Women with diabetes who take insulin or other medicines for the condition can develop blood sugar that is low. If not treated quickly, low blood sugar can be dangerous, and even fatal. If women watch their blood sugar closely and handle low blood sugar early, it is possible to prevent seriously low blood sugar levels. If a woman’s diabetes during pregnancy has not been well managed, her baby may develop low blood sugar very quickly after birth. The blood sugar of the baby must be tracked for several hours after birth.

Here are some tips for women suffering from Gestational Diabetes:

1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet

2. Exercise Moderately

3. Monitor blood sugar on a regular basis

4. Take insulin if required

5. Get tested for diabetes after pregnancy

Get tested for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born, and then after every 1 to 3 years. For most women with gestational diabetes, diabetes goes away after delivery. If diabetes does not go away, then it is called type 2 diabetes.

Please talk to if you are concerned about this issue as we have therapists that specialise in women’s health.

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