How Can Gdm Impact A Pregnant Woman And Her Pregnancy
GDM can lead to a larger baby due to higher levels of sugar being passed to the fetus during pregnancy. This can cause an increase in the babys blood sugar, insulin and growth hormone, which causes increased fat deposition. A larger fetus can lead to certain delivery complications and ramifications, including labor difficulties, cesarean delivery, heavy bleeding after delivery and severe tearing during a vaginal birth. GDM can also increase a womans risk for developing other problematic conditions during pregnancy, including high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
Nearly 10 Percent Of Pregnancies In The Us Are Affected By Gestational Diabetes Every Year So Know That Youre Not Alone
And know that it doesnt mean that you had diabetes before you conceived or that you will have diabetes after you give birth. It means that, by working with your doctor, you can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. No matter what, you have all the support you need for both you and your baby.
Testing For Gestational Diabetes
Its important to be tested for gestational diabetes so you can begin treatment to protect your health and your babys health.
Gestational diabetes usually develops around the 24th week of pregnancy, so youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks.
If youre at higher risk for gestational diabetes, your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
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If You Have Gestational Diabetes How Can You Help Prevent Getting Diabetes Later In Life
For most women, gestational diabetes goes away after giving birth. But having it makes you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Type 2 diabetes is the most common kind of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas makes too little insulin or your body becomes resistant to it .
Heres what you can do to help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy:
- . Breastfeeding can help you lose weight after pregnancy. Being overweight makes you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Get tested for diabetes 4 to 12 weeks after your baby is born. If the test is normal, get tested again every 1 to 3 years.
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
- Talk to your provider about medicine that may help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Will Gestational Diabetes Go Away
Most likely, after you deliver your baby, gestational diabetes should go away. About six weeks after delivery, your doctor will check your blood glucose level to see if its in the normal range again.
However, because you had gestational diabetes, youre at a higher risk for having it again in another pregnancy. Youre also at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. To learn how to prevent type 2 diabetes, read our article on prevention.
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You Dont Have To Be Overweight To Get It
Although obesity is one of the risk factors for developing gestational diabetes, along with advanced maternal age, a family history of diabetes, and belonging to specific ethnic groups , only about half of women who are diagnosed have any of these risk factors, says G. Marc Jackson, M.D., a maternal fetal medicine physician at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City. Thats why we screen every pregnant woman.
So, what do abnormal results mean? The body uses glucose, or sugar, to fuel muscles and cells. Some of that glucose comes directly from food, and the rest is stored and then released by the liver. After a meal, glucose hangs around in the bloodstream until the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach, secretes a hormone called insulin, which pushes that glucose into your cells to be used as energy.
During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that make it harder for insulin to move glucose into cells. This means pregnant women have to produce more insulin than non-pregnant women to do the same job. Gestational diabetes is caused by your genes, and your pancreass inability to compensate and produce enough insulin when your body needs it, explains Matthew Freeby, M.D., director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at UCLA Health. No one should blame herself.
What To Do If You Have Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy
If a womans diabetes was not well controlled during pregnancy, her baby can very quickly develop low blood sugar after birth. The babys blood sugar must be watched for several hours after delivery. Eat healthy foods from a meal plan made for a person with diabetes. A dietitian can help you create a healthy meal plan.
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What Are The Risks Factors Associated With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Although any woman can develop GDM during pregnancy, some of the factors that may increase the risk include the following:
Overweight or obesity
Family history of diabetes
Having given birth previously to an infant weighing greater than 9 pounds
Prediabetes, also known as impaired glucose tolerance
Although increased glucose in the urine is often included in the list of risk factors, it is not believed to be a reliable indicator for GDM.
Treatment For Gestational Diabetes
You can do a lot to manage your gestational diabetes. Go to all your prenatal appointments and follow your treatment plan, including:
- Checking your blood sugar to make sure your levels stay in a healthy range.
- Eating healthy food in the right amounts at the right times. Follow a healthy eating plan created by your doctor or dietitian.
- Being active. Regular physical activity thats moderately intense lowers your blood sugar and makes you more sensitive to insulin so your body wont need as much. Make sure to check with your doctor about what kind of physical activity you can do and if there are any kinds you should avoid.
- Monitoring your baby. Your doctor will check your babys growth and development.
If healthy eating and being active arent enough to manage your blood sugar, your doctor may prescribe insulin, metformin, or other medication.
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Why Is Exercise Important
Your doctor will suggest that you exercise regularly at a level that is safe for you and the baby. Exercise will help keep your blood sugar level normal. It can also make you feel better. Walking is usually the easiest type of exercise when you are pregnant. But swimming or other exercises you enjoy are also beneficial during this time. Ask your doctor to recommend some activities that would be safe for you.
If youre not used to exercising, begin by exercising for 5 or 10 minutes every day. As you get stronger, you can increase your exercise time to 30 minutes or more per session. The longer you exercise and the more often you exercise, the more in control you will be of your blood sugar.
You do need to be careful about how you exercise. Dont exercise too hard or get too hot while exercising. Ask your doctor what activities are safe for you. Depending on your age, your pulse shouldnt go higher than 140 to 160 beats per minute during exercise. If you become dizzy or have back pain or other pain while exercising, stop exercising immediately and call your doctor. If you have uterine contractions , vaginal bleeding, or your water breaks, call your doctor right away.
What’s The Best Way To Manage It
Unless your doctor has restricted exercising, keeping active is important. It keeps you and the baby healthy and it minimizes weight gainwomen who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
Dr. Esakoff also recommends consulting a diabetic nurse educator, dietitian, or doctor to find a way of eating that works for you.
“Controlling gestational diabetes is about finding a correct balance of protein, fats, and carbs,” she explains. “A lot of patients assume if they cut carbs, things will be better, but you do need carbs when you’re pregnant.”
Some women also need medication or insulin injections.
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Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors
Youâre more likely to get gestational diabetes if you:
- Were overweight before you got pregnant
- Are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Native American
- Have blood sugar levels that are higher than they should be but not high enough to be diabetes
- Have a family member with diabetes
- Have had gestational diabetes before
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome or another health condition linked to problems with insulin
- Have given birth to a baby who was stillborn or had certain birth defects
- Are older than 25
Ive Been Told My Baby Will Be Taken To Special Care After Delivery Due To Gestational Diabetes
We have seen a few mothers in Ireland & England be told that their baby will be taken into special care following birth purely due to the mother being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Unless there are other complications then this is not necessary and goes against current recommendations which state that the baby should receive skin to skin as soon as possible and should remain by the mothers bedside, especially important for those wishing to breast feed.
We urge you to research the matter further and make clear your plans for after the baby is born.
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What Complications Are Associated With Gestational Diabetes
If your gestational diabetes is poorly managed, your blood sugar levels may remain higher than they should be throughout your pregnancy. This can lead to complications and affect the health of your child. For example, when your baby is born, he or she may have:
- a high birth weight
- low blood sugar
- shoulder dystocia, which causes their shoulders to get stuck in the birth canal during labor
They may also be at higher risk of developing diabetes later in life. Thats why its so important to take steps to manage your gestational diabetes by following your doctors recommended treatment plan.
Life After The Meal Plan
Find more recipes on our site
Your journey doesnt end after 7 days of Mediterranean recipes for gestational diabetes. Its about finding recipes that can become staples in your household and creating eating habits that actually last.
We would like to take a moment to note that this post is for information purposes only. It does not claim to provide medical advice or to be able to treat any medical condition. If you have any concerns regarding your health please contact your medical practitioner before making changes.
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Gestational Diabetes Causes And Risk Factors
Gestational diabetes develops when your body isnt able to produce enough of the hormone insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is necessary to transport blood glucose into the cells. Without enough insulin, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps gestational diabetes.
The elevated blood glucose level in gestational diabetes is caused by hormones released by the placenta during pregnancy. The placenta produces a hormone called the human placental lactogen , also known as human chorionic somatomammotropin . Its similar to growth hormone , but it actually modifies the mothers metabolism and how she processes carbohydrates and lipids. HPL actually raises maternal blood glucose level and makes a woman’s body less sensitive to insulinless able to use it properly. If the body doesnt use insulin as it should, then the blood glucose levels will rise. The HPL hormone increases the blood glucose level so that the baby can get the nutrients it needs from the extra glucose in the blood.
At 15 weeks, another hormonehuman placental growth hormonealso increases and causes maternal blood glucose level to rise. This hormone is also supposed to help regulate the mothers blood glucose level to be sure that the baby gets the right amount of needed nutrients.
While doctors arent clear about why some women develop gestational diabetes and others don’t, there are several risk factors that make it more likely to occur:
Breakfast Ideas For Gestational Diabetes
Spinach Onion Swiss Omelet And Toast With Almond Butter
Omelets are a great choice for breakfast with gestational diabetes. This is the nutrition information for the omelets I make but you can put whatever veggies or cheese that youd like in yours and it wont change the carb and calorie content too much.
2 Eggs: Carbs 0 Calories 140
1/2 Cup Spinach: Carbs 0 Calories 5
1 Tbs. Chopped Red Onion: Carbs 1 Calories 4
2 Slices Swiss Cheese: Carbs 2 Calories 140
1/2 Tbs. Butter: Carbs 0 Calories 50
1 Slice Whole Wheat Bread: Carbs 17 Calories 90
1 Tbs. Almond Butter: Carbs 3 Calories 105
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How Can Gestational Diabetes Affect My Baby And Me
High blood sugar levels can be unhealthy for both you and your baby. If the diabetes isnt treated, your baby may be more likely to have problems at birth. For example, your baby may have a low blood sugar level or jaundice. Or your baby may weigh much more than normal.
Gestational diabetes can also affect your health. For instance, if your baby is very large, you may have a more difficult delivery. You may even need a cesarean section. Gestational diabetes also increases your risk of developing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition that can be serious if left untreated.
The Omg Guide To Gestational Diabetes
If youre mortified about having this common pregnancy condition, deep breaths. We know you dont live on cookies! Ditch the guilt and focus on managing your gestational diabetes to have a healthy baby.
Pregnancy is marked by milestones at your ob-gyn appointments. You get to hear the babys heartbeat around 8 weeks, and count fingers and toes around 10 weeks. And then theres the 28-week appointmentmemorable not only because its the start of the third trimester, but also because its when most women have to take the dreaded glucose challenge test. I remember my first test well. I was 30 years old, and given the choice of chugging a sickly-sweet orange or cola-flavored drink . An hour later, I had my blood drawn and was sent on my way. But a few days later, I got the call: Id failed the screening and had to come back for a three-hour glucose tolerance test.
While I ate a pretty balanced diet and was relatively fit and at a healthy weight, the previous 20 weeks of pregnancy had rendered me numb with unrelenting nausea that could only be quelled with carbs. There were nights when Id eaten a whole frozen pizza or scarfed down a bagel with cream cheese, only to reach for a bag of pretzels an hour later. One of my first thoughts after I failed the screening was that Id probably done this to myself.
With that in mind, here are the most important things you should know about gestational diabetes.
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How Is It Diagnosed
While most women with gestational diabetes have no obvious symptoms, some experience extreme hunger, thirst, or fatigue. Since these symptoms are also common during typical pregnancies, Dr. Esakoff says it’s essential to get proper screening.
“We have patients who take care of themselves, are in excellent shape, watch their diet, and they still get it,” says Dr. Esakoff. So you should definitely get tested around 24-28 weeks.”
Tests include a 1-hour glucose tolerance test, and if it’s positive, a follow-up 3-hour test to confirm the diagnosis.
Can Gestational Diabetes Be Prevented
Its not possible to prevent gestational diabetes entirely. However, adopting healthy habits can reduce your chances of developing the condition.
If youre planning to become pregnant in the near future and youre overweight, one of the best things you can do is work with your doctor to lose weight. Even losing a small amount of weight can help you reduce your risk of gestational diabetes.
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Gestational Diabetes Can Indicate A Predisposition For Diabetes
Because 50-70% of women with gestational diabetes will develop diabetes later in life, gestational diabetes is one of the earliest signs that a woman has the predisposition for diabetes. While some people maintain healthy blood sugar levels after pregnancy without issue, many women have some level of dysregulation that stays with them after birth.
I say this not to scare you, but to empower you to make changes now. Using this warning sign to start making changes in diet and exercise patterns can prevent you from getting diabetes down the road.
It is easy to feel like because your blood sugars are normal after giving birth that there are no issues. The diagnosis of gestational diabetes, in most cases, indicates underlying insulin resistance. The beauty is that insulin resistance is reversible with diet and exercise when addressed early!
What Causes Gestational Diabetes
As a dietitian, one of the most difficult and frustrating things I would hear in the outpatient setting was women brushing off a gestational diabetes diagnosis because they expected it to resolve after giving birth. In the area I was working, I has multiple women tell me that their medical doctor had informed them it was nothing to worry about and it was just temporary.
In some cases, that may be true, but it is not the more common outcome. I understand not wanting to be the bearer of bad news or to panic a pregnant lady, but often times gestational diabetes indicates some level of preexisting insulin resistance. Although it is not unheard of to develop gestational diabetes without having underlying metabolic issues. As a medical professional, it is important to discuss what causes gestational diabetes in the first place and what can be done to prevent blood sugar dysregulation in the future.
There are many metabolic changes that occur during pregnancy that make blood sugar more difficult to control. The placenta secretes hormones that can interfere with the action of insulin later in pregnancy causing some level of insulin resistance. Additionally, an increase in body fat percentage during pregnancy can also make a women less sensitive to insulin.
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