Gestational diabetes is a condition in which women that hasn’t ever been diagnosed with diabetes exhibit high glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy, especially during their third trimester. I chose the topic; gestational diabetes specifically because several of my family members had gotten gestational diabetes while pregnant and while some later developed Type II Diabetes the others didn’t.
While having gestational diabetes their dietitian encouraged them to eat healthy, exercise and take medications if needed to control their blood sugar. Although many women often get gestational diabetes “researchers do not know why some women develop gestational diabetes .
To understand how gestational diabetes occurs, it can help to understand how pregnancy affects your body’s glucose processing. (Mayoclinic).” Glucose (sugar) is produced by the digestion of food in your body. “In response, your pancreas — a large gland behind your stomach — produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose move from your bloodstream into your body’s cells, where it’s used as energy (Mayoclinic).”
“Eating a balanced, healthy diet can help you manage gestational diabetes (Medlineplus). According to Medlineplus women with gestational diabetes who do NOT take insulin should eat: “Plenty of whole fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of lean proteins and healthy fats. Also moderate amounts of whole grains, such as: bread, cereal, pasta, and rice, plus starchy vegetables, such as corn and peas.
Fewer foods that have a lot of sugar, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, and pastries. You should eat three small- to moderate-sized meals and one or more snacks each day. Do not skip meals and snacks. Keep the amount and types of food (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) about the same from day to day. This can help you keep your blood sugar stable (Medlineplus).
Most women with gestational diabetes are able to control their blood sugar and avoid harm to themselves or their baby. Pregnant women that have gestational diabetes tend to have larger babies at birth. This can increase of problems at the time of delivery, including: birth injury (trauma) because of the baby’s large size, they would have to perform a c-section. The baby is more likely to have periods of low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) during their first few days of life.
Mothers with gestational diabetes have an increased risk for high blood pressure during pregnancy. There is a slightly increased risk of the baby dying when the mother has untreated gestational diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels reduces this risk. High blood sugar levels often go back to normal after delivery. However, women with gestational diabetes should be watched closely after giving birth at a regulars doctors appointment to screen for signs of diabetes. Many women with gestational diabetes develop diabetes 5-10 years after delivery.
“Women with gestational diabetes usually have no symptoms. Most learn they have it during routine pregnancy screening tests. Rarely, especially if gestational diabetes is out of control, you may notice: Feeling more thirsty, feeling more hungry and eating more and/or needing to pee more (webmd).” It is important to control and monitor your blood sugar to help avoid any complications during pregnancy and/or delivery, also so that your baby remains healthy. Some treatment strategies may include: medication, close monitoring of your baby, a healthy diet, exercise and monitoring your blood sugar.