Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes developed during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. Having gestational diabetes means that sugar is not properly metabolized by the body causing high blood sugar levels. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, gestational diabetes has a prevalence of 9.2%. This could affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. There is no known cause for a woman to develop gestational diabetes, but it’s known that it’s related to insulin resistance, and it may have a genetic predisposition.

How can gestational diabetes affect your baby?

When you have gestational diabetes, your pancreas works harder than usual to produce insulin, but this won’t reduce the levels of sugar in your blood. The extra glucose in your bloodstream penetrates your placenta and causes your baby to produce more insulin. Then, the extra glucose in your baby’s blood turns into fat and could cause your baby to develop macrosomia, (larger than average birth weight). Macrosomia could lead to birth issues such as shoulder damage and trouble breathing.

If you’re pregnant and have gestational diabetes, be sure keep your sugar levels at bay as soon as possible. Be mindful of what you eat, exercise regularly, and follow your doctor’s instructions. Controlling your sugar levels could help prevent difficulties during pregnancy and keep your baby healthy. If you have gestational diabetes, your sugar levels will most likely go back to normal after giving birth. However, be sure to take care of your pregnancy symptoms early on to avoid preeclampsia, occurring in 10% to 30% of women with gestational diabetes. Don’t worry, though. What’s important is that you attend to all of your doctor’s appointments, control your diabetes, and follow every single one of the recommendations your doctor gives you in order to take care of your baby’s health.

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