The Effects Of Gestational Diabetes

By Moses Wright

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is different from diabetes that existed before a pregnancy which is commonly called pre-existing diabetes.

About four percent of pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes. The hormone that encourages the growth of the fetus is suspected as a cause of gestational diabetes since it inhibits the mother's ability to metabolize glucose.

Gestational diabetes occurs late in a pregnancy. This condition does not cause birth defects, but may affect the baby by increasing the baby's body mass. Large babies can be susceptible to injury during birth.

Newborns of mothers who had gestational diabetes are prone to breathing problems. The newborns may also have very low blood glucose levels at birth and be susceptible to obesity and type II diabetes later in life.

Timed blood tests and consuming a glucose solution are part of testing for gestational diabetes. Typically, blood sample is drawn at the beginning of the test and one hour after the pregnant woman drinks a glucose solution. More blood tests after longer periods of time may also be done.

Diabetic diets are the first treatment for gestational diabetes. The obstetrician may have the pregnant woman with gestational diabetes meet with a dietician or nutritionist who will devise a diabetic diet.

Three meals and two snacks are typically included in the diabetic diet for gestational diabetes. Food intake is generally not necessarily restricted, but it instructs the pregnant woman to eat a variety of foods from certain food groups for each meal and snack. In exchange list with the food groups and examples of foods and serving sizes for each food group may be given to the pregnant woman as a reference.

Pregnant women with gestational diabetes are required to check their blood sugar levels multiple times during the day. If the gestational diabetes is not well controlled with diet, the pregnant woman may have to take insulin injections.

Women and newborns rarely have lasting effects from gestational diabetes after birth. The woman may have an increased risk of type II diabetes. The effects of gestational diabetes are usually minimal if it is properly managed. - 30525

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