In a report by the American Diabetes Association, it was noted that about 4% of pregnant women develop diabetes during their pregnancy. This type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes. This is a condition that develops in women who have never had diabetes previously but get high blood glucose levels while pregnant. This most often happens in the later term of the pregnancy. Evidently, there are about 135,000 cases of gestational diabetes reported every year in the United States.
Women who develop gestational diabetes, in most cases, won’t develop type 2 diabetes. This is a condition affected by pregnancy and the inability of the woman to use the insulin naturally developed in her body. It is caused by hormones triggered by the pregnancy and results in the woman becoming insulin resistant. As a result, the woman develops high blood glucose levels or hyperglycemia.
The gestational diabetes will be treated for the condition while the woman is pregnant. There are no birth defects associated with this sort of illness so there isn’t any cause for alarm for the child. However, if the condition is left untreated, it can hurt the baby because the mother is not getting rid of her excessive blood glucose. As a result the child is getting more than his or her share of energy and fat. This can result in macrosomia which is simply the clinical name for a fat baby.
A fat baby is not the sign of a healthy baby. In fact a child born too fat may have problems fitting through the birth canal as a result this may require a cesarean section birth. As well babies who are born obese can develop breathing problems and they themselves can run the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
There is treatment for gestational diabetes including insulin injections which are usually given to the mother to keep the blood glucose levels intact. A woman can avoid the complication of developing gestational diabetes prior to becoming pregnant.
The Glycemic Index is great tool to use for a woman who is thinking about becoming pregnant. The Glycemic Index was developed for diabetics to categorize carbohydrates so they can know which ones to avoid.
When you become pregnant you should follow the advice from your doctor regarding diet and exercise . Prior to becoming pregnant you may want to discuss any concerns you have regarding the potential for diabetes with your physician so they can give you some advice on how to avoid this pregnancy complication.
Even if you get diagnosed with gestational diabetes, chances are you will not develop type 2 diabetes. Getting gestational diabetes is not a reason to panic. There are many ways to help women with this condition so that they have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.