It takes place only during pregnancy. Having a healthy baby is possible despite having gestational diabetes. You would require assistance from your doctor and practicing simple things daily to manage blood sugar levels. You might not have diabetes after the baby has been delivered. Gestational diabetes increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, but it doesn’t necessarily have to happen.
Gestational diabetes is raised blood glucose levels during pregnancy. It develops in 5 % of all pregnancies but usually disappears after giving birth. Women who have suffered from gestational diabetes during pregnancy are also at high risk (up to 40%) to develop type 2 diabetes.
The doctor screens the patient for gestational diabetes, usually between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. The test checks the blood glucose level after a glucose load. Pregnant women show few definite signs of gestational diabetes which are similar to traits of diabetes.
Signs of gestational diabetes include:
Women with gestational diabetes may experience few symptoms such as:
Any woman experiencing unusual symptoms during pregnancy should speak to her doctor who may be able to determine whether the symptoms are due to gestational diabetes or any other health condition.
When the body is unable to produce enough insulin or does not use the produced insulin effectively, it results in a high level of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia). There are various types of diabetes like Type-1, Type –II, gestational and pre-diabetes. The main cause of gestational diabetes problem is hormonal changes during pregnancy. The placenta produces hormones and these hormones make cells less sensitive to the effects of insulin. This results in high blood sugar during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes affects 2% and 10% of pregnant women. A woman is more likely to have gestational diabetes if she:
For treating gestational diabetes, your doctor may ask you:
Your doctor can best advice you if insulin or any other drugs may be required for you after tracking weight changes.
The chances of having gestational diabetes during pregnancy can be reduced by controlling blood sugar levels. For this:
The ideal time to give birth if a woman has gestational diabetes is usually around 38-40 weeks. If the blood sugar levels are within normal levels, then there are no concerns regarding the or your baby’s health, and one can wait for labor to start naturally.
It’s important that a mother should feed her baby as soon as possible after birth and at regular intervals until the baby’s blood sugars become stable. The baby’s blood sugars should be tested two to four hours after birth and if found low, the baby will have to be fed temporarily through a tube or a drip.
A woman should get her blood test done to check for diabetes 6-13 weeks after birth. This is because some women have gestational diabetes or raised blood sugar levels even after pregnancy. If the result is normal, it is still advised to have an annual test for diabetes. This is because women who suffered from gestational diabetes during pregnancy are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Some of the home remedies to manage the diabetes are as follows :
Avoid all processed foods like white bread, and in general, anything that has a lot of sugar. It is also suggested to avoid fast foods, alcoholic beverages, baked goods like muffins, donuts or cakes, fried food, sugary drinks such as soda, juice and sweetened beverages and starchy foods such as white potatoes & white rice.