Diabetes During Pregnancy, Don’t be Afraid of It
Diabetes during pregnancy is a common thing experienced by many pregnant women. This kind of diabetes (or, better known as gestational diabetes) happens when insulin action is blocked by various hormones to make sure that the growing baby gets enough sugar. Therefore, your body needs to produce more insulin to deal with this condition. When your body can’t produce more insulin, that’s the time you have gestational diabetes. Normally, diabetes in pregnancy only occurs in the second half of pregnancy and usually goes away after giving birth. If it doesn’t, then there’s a possibility that you already had type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes before getting pregnant.
Gestational Diabetes Symptoms
Gestational diabetes symptoms are identical to other type of diabetes symptoms. They are increased thirst, needing to urinate often, and feeling tired. However, normal pregnancy has also the same symptoms.
Gestational diabetes is not a life threatening condition. However, you can expect various problems if you don’t control it well. Those problems include:
- Pre-eclampsia which causes high blood pressure
- Premature labour
- Too much amnicotic fluid
- May need caesarean delivery
- Higher risk of having type 2 diabetes
About the Baby
Mother suffers from diabetes may have a larger than usual baby. This condition may bring more trouble when the baby is being delivered. For example, there’s a risk of shoulder damage since it will be harder to pull the baby out.
Your baby may have hypoglycemia after birth. This is because your baby produces more insulin to respond your high blood sugar level. If your baby continues to do this shortly after being delivered, he/she will have a very low blood sugar level. The solution is breastfeed your baby within 30 minutes of delivery.
Your baby is also at risk of yellow skin and whites of the eyes. This usually goes away without any medical treatment. Otherwise, simple treatment using UV light is necessary.
Causes of Diabetes During Pregnancy
You have a higher risk of having diabetes during pregnancy if you:
- Have a family history of gestational diabetes
- Have previously giving birth to a large baby (over 9 lbs)
- Are overweight
- Have polycyctic ovary syndrome
What to Do If I Have Gestational Diabetes
You must control your blood sugar level regularly during your pregnancy. Do it through a good diabetes diet plan and exercise. Consult your physician to have a better planned diet and to determine the right exercise.
After giving birth, you need to watch yourself since you are more prone to suffer from type 2 diabetes. It’s the perfect time to change your lifestyle into a healthier one. Having balanced meals, regular exercise, and enough sleep are always the wise things to do.
These books should help you dealing with gestational diabetes.
- Managing Your Gestational Diabetes: A Guide for You and Your Baby’s Good Health
- The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Gestational Diabetes
- American Dietetic Assocation Guide to Gestational Diabetes Mellitus