Figuring Out the Signs Of Gestational Diabetes

Signs Of Gestational Diabetes

signs of gestational diabetesGestational diabetes is a condition that happens only to pregnant women during their period of pregnancy. The women who are afflicted with gestational diabetes have high blood glucose levels during pregnancy, most especially during the third trimester. Women who are pregnant should watch out for the signs of gestational diabetes, especially if they are at high risk for developing the disease. Furthermore, the signs of gestational diabetes might not only become apparent on the mother, but also on the baby.

Causes and risk factors of gestational diabetes-Signs Of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes happens during pregnancy because the placenta of the pregnant woman releases hormones that help in the growth and development of the baby. Unfortunately, these very hormones also block the action of the insulin from the mother, making the insulin receptors resistant. Because of insulin resistance, the mother’s need for insulin grows, resulting to higher blood glucose levels in the blood and the manifestations of the signs of gestational diabetes.

There are certain women who are at risk for developing signs of gestational diabetes. For instance, women who are over the age of 30 have higher risk for developing the signs of gestational diabetes in contrast to those who are less than 30 years old at the time of pregnancy. A family history of type 2 diabetes and obesity can also put you at risk. Those who had gestational diabetes during their previous pregnancies also have higher chances of getting the signs of gestational diabetes in the current pregnancy. It also appears that Indians, Vietnamese, Chinese, Polynesian, and Middle Eastern women are more prone to gestational diabetes than other cultural groups.

Signs of gestational diabetes on the mother

The signs of gestational diabetes as they manifest on the mother are similar to the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes, although these are mild and might even be absent. If the signs of gestational diabetes are present, the mother usually feels having increased thirst, appetite, and urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and frequent infection. The only sure way to know if you have the signs of gestational diabetes or not is to subject yourself to routine pregnancy screenings and glucose tolerance tests.

Gestational diabetes on the baby-Signs Of Gestational Diabetes

The reason why the signs of gestational diabetes are being controlled is because it can have adverse effects on the baby. A baby with a mother who is a gestational diabetic can grow larger than the acceptable birth weight because too much sugar crosses the placental barrier from the mother to the baby. This can make labor and delivery more difficult, and might necessitate a Caesarean section on the part of the mother.

In addition, your baby might also manifest signs of type 2 diabetes after being born. The baby might also have problems with low blood sugar immediately after birth and jaundice, so he or she must be monitored in the neonatal intensive care unit. As your baby grows older, he or she is at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well.

Therefore, early detection of the signs of gestational diabetes is important for prompt intervention. Treatment for the signs of gestational diabetes includes possible oral medications, diet and nutrition lifestyle changes, constant monitoring of blood glucose levels and exercise.

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What Will My Baby Weigh With Gestational Diabetes?- Baby Weight With Gestational Diabetes

Baby Weight With Gestational Diabetes

Because gestational diabetes is a condition affecting pregnant women, this condition can also affect the babies of these women. As such, this might pose several complications for the baby, including increased birth weight, labor difficulties, hypoglycemia after birth, and risk for developing diabetes later on in life.

“Big” Baby-Baby Weight With Gestational Diabetes

Remember that glucose can cross the placental barrier, and too much glucose can make your baby fat. One of the complications that babies can have if gestational diabetes remains uncontrolled is macrosomia or a big baby. Macrosomia is defined as having a birth weight of 4500 grams or more. That translates to a weight of 9 pounds and 14 ounces, when the normal birth weight is only around 3400 grams.

Baby Weight With Gestational DiabetesAs a result of the weight of the baby, this might further lead to several complications. If the baby achieves this weight at around the seventh week of pregnancy, this might prompt obstetricians to deliver the baby prematurely since staying in the womb for a longer period of time poses some danger to the mother, such as possible uterine rupture. The baby will then have to be placed inside an incubator since his lung surfactants have not yet fully matured. Baby weight with gestational diabetes is directly related to blood sugar control in the mother.

If the baby reaches full term, the huge birth weight can still pose a problem on labor and delivery. Labor may be difficult since the baby will probably not be able to pass through the vaginal canal. Hence, Caesarean section would be recommended. If the mother pushes through with normal spontaneous delivery, there is a risk for the baby to have shoulder dystocia or shoulder fracture. Usually, the baby’s head is the biggest part of his body. However, for macrosomic babies, the shoulders become wider than the head, thus not being able to pass through swiftly into the birth canal. Although the shoulder fracture can easily heal because the babes bones are still soft and not yet fully formed, improper alignment can lead to bone defects as the baby grows older.

Other Complications-Baby Weight With Gestational Diabetes

Aside from possible injuries during delivery, the baby can also suffer from hypoglycemia immediately after delivery. The baby has gotten used to high glucose levels inside the womb. As a result, his pancreas responds by producing high levels of insulin to use up all the glucose coming from the mother. When the baby is born, the pancreas will still continue to produce high amounts of insulin as it still takes some time to get used to the outside environment. As a result, the baby can suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar during his first few days of life. This should be carefully monitored by health care providers.

Studies also show that babies borne out of gestational diabetic mothers have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus later on in life. However, if you control your blood sugar properly during pregnancy, this risk could be lessened. Therefore, proper treatment and control of gestational diabetes is very important.

Learn more about the complications of gestational diabetes for both mothers and babies through our EBOOK and newsletter.

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What Caused My Gestational Diabetes?

What Caused My Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women and poses risks to both the developing baby and the mother. This type of diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood. This can result into problems during pregnancy, at birth and in future. Many mothers will tend to ask themselves this. What caused my gestational diabetes?

What Caused My Gestational Diabetes?-Causes of gestational diabetes

what caused my gestational diabetesDuring pregnancy, women have some hormonal changes. This hormonal changes cause gestational diabetes. When some hormones made in the placenta (organ that links the developing baby to the mother’s uterus via the umbilical cord) increase, it becomes hard for insulin to manage the new levels of blood glucose. This situation is referred to as insulin resistance. As the pregnancy advances, the placenta increases in size thereby producing more hormones. Consequently, insulin resistance increases insulin resistance. Normally, a mother’s pancreas has the ability to prevail over insulin resistance by producing higher levels of insulin (approximately three times the regular amount). If, on the other hand, the mother’s pancreas fails to produce the necessary amounts of insulin to prevail over the effects of the high levels of insulin, blood glucose will increase leading to gestational diabetes. Luckily, pregnant women can take several precautions to control blood glucose and minimize health risks associated with gestational diabetes. A meal plan is important in preventing and managing gestational diabetes.

Meal plan essentials

Meal plan for pregnant mothers are built around a few essential ideas:

Carbohydrate issues: All types of foods have different combinations of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates affect blood glucose at a faster rate than proteins and fats. Proteins and fats affect blood glucose slowly and over a long period of time. Based on this fact, mothers should regulate intake of carbohydrate-rich foods.
Nutrition issues: It is necessary for pregnant mothers to choose healthy food options. Healthy foods contain nutrients that control gestational diabetes and sustain development and growth of the developing baby. A good meal plan should have healthy food choices.
Timing and portions issues: It is important for pregnant mothers to control their gestational diabetes by managing their eating patterns. A good meal plan outlines when to eat and the amount to eat.

Six important steps to follow:

-Eat less, frequent snacks and meals. Pregnant mothers should eat in intervals of 2 to 3 hours. Foods rich in carbohydrates should be spread evenly in order to maintain stable levels of blood glucose.
-Eat some healthy proteins. Proteins even out or balance blood glucose, make pregnant mothers feel satisfied and energized all day.
-Eat less breakfast. In the morning, blood glucose is often high. Breakfast should be light and have fewer carbohydrates to offset the high levels of blood glucose. Pregnant mothers should take some mid-morning snacks 2 hours after breakfast.
-Eat foods with high amounts of fiber. Pregnant mothers should eat breads, cereals, vegetables and fruits in their evening or afternoon meals for fiber.
-Avoid sweets and sugars. Fruit juices, soft drinks and desserts increase blood glucose rapidly. Pregnant mothers should avoid fruit juices during breakfast and soft drinks or desserts as they increase blood glucose without providing significant nutritional value.
-Avoid fats particularly if you have gained excess weight. Pregnant mothers ought to eat lean protein foods, avoid frying foods and shun convenience foods.

Looking for assistance with a gestational diabetes diet meal plan try this book!

 

How Much Exercise Do I Need to Do When I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Most women are reluctant to exercise during their pregnancy. They are afraid that some exercises might cause harm to the baby they are carrying. When they are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the fear of exercising increases since their condition becomes more delicate than normal pregnancy.

baby loveDespite this fear, doctors would even recommend exercising especially for pregnant women with gestational diabetes. The purpose of exercising is not to lose weight, but to maintain it and to prevent you from gaining excess weight that might be detrimental to you and your baby’s health. In gestational diabetes, your cells cannot utilize the excess glucose in your bloodstream because the insulin receptors in the cells are less responsive to insulin. That is the reason why you have to take the initiative of using up your excess glucose through exercising.

But exercising for pregnant women with gestational diabetes is not that simple. There are some considerations that you need to keep in mind to prevent adverse effects and complications. Here are some tips and guidelines that you need to remember to exercise safely during your gestational diabetes state:

  • Ask your doctor. First and foremost, your doctor should know about any exercise program that you are contemplating on starting. Your doctor will be able to advise you well on the dos and don’ts of exercising with gestational diabetes. In general, exercise is safe as long as you are not in danger of pre-term labor and delivery or you have no cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases that might hinder your ability to exercise. Ask your doctor for any warning signs or limitations in exercising during pregnancy.
  • Start slowly. If you were physically active before you got pregnant, take note that you cannot be as active as you were now that you are pregnant. High-impact sports should be avoided in general, and you have to start slow. You can try walking, yoga, and aerobics. Around 20 minutes per day three times a week is good to start, and you may increase your frequency as your body gets used to the exercise.  However, you should always ask your doctor about the amount of exercise that you should be doing. Ideally, you should be able to carry on a conversation comfortably while exercising.
  • Drink lots of water. Hydration is very important when you are exercising. This helps you prevent dehydration, which could lead to pre-term labor because it raises your body’s temperature. Drinking water while exercising can also prevent excess sodium in your body, thus avoiding swelling or edema.
  • Do not forget warm-up and cool-down exercises. Warming up prepares your muscles for exercise, helping you avoid stiffness and soreness in your muscles during and after exercising. Cooling down, on the other hand, gets your heart rate back to normal in a gradual manner. Warm-up and cool-down exercises should be done for about five to ten minutes per exercise routine.

Your pregnancy or gestational diabetes should never be a hindrance to your physical activities.

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Does Gestational Diabetes Get Worse With Subsequent Pregnancy?

Gestational Diabetes Subsequent Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by increased levels of glucose in the bloodstream during pregnancy. This is due to the fact that pregnancy produces hormones that increase insulin resistance, thus preventing glucose from entering the cells and being utilized into energy. I can affect gestational diabetes subsequent pregnancy!

gestational diabetes subsequent pregnancyOne of the worries that women have over gestational diabetes is its effect on their subsequent pregnancies. The first pregnancy with gestational diabetes is already difficult, so suffering from it the second and third time around is definitely something you would not want to look forward to. Unfortunately, studies have shown that those who develop gestational diabetes during their first pregnancy have a risk for developing this same condition in their subsequent pregnancies.

The study published by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology online that the risk of developing gestational diabetes increases in each subsequent pregnancy, although there is no clear proof that it actually worsens with every occurrence. The risk increases by 13% every pregnancy, but if the pattern is broken, it only increases by 6%. For example, those who had gestational diabetes during their first pregnancy have a 13% chance of getting it the second time. If she had the same condition for the second time, the chance to get it again the third time increases to 26%. On the other hand, if the woman had gestational diabetes during her first pregnancy but not during her second pregnancy, her chance of suffering from the same condition during her third pregnancy decreases to 6%. All of these figures are in comparison with a woman who did not have gestational diabetes during her first pregnancy. Hence, having a healthy lifestyle is of adamant importance in order to prevent the development of gestational diabetes the first time.

Risk factors and risk reduction methods-gestational diabetes subsequent pregnancy

The biggest risk factor for the development of gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus has something to do with lifestyle factors. Those who love eating sweets and have sedentary lifestyles are the ones most at risk of getting gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Those who are overweight or obese also have increased chances of developing gestational diabetes. Hence, risk reduction strategies are focused on proper counseling on lifestyle modifications, such as promoting a healthy diet, incorporating exercise in one’s daily routine, and reducing and maintaining weight.

Aside from counseling, early identification of gestational diabetes is also important so as to immediately control blood sugar levels and prevent its adverse effects on both the mother and the baby. Pregnant women should have a schedule for prenatal care so that their doctors can monitor their blood sugar levels and provide appropriate solutions to their healthcare problems.

Also, women who developed gestational diabetes during their first pregnancy should request for screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus after six weeks postpartum. Their healthcare provider can help them modify their risk of developing gestational diabetes subsequent pregnancy and type 2 diabetes mellitus later on in life.

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