Diabetes during pregnancy is quite common affecting upto 10% of the pregnancies. Diabetes during pregnancy is also called gestational diabetes. It is basically increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy that were otherwise normal. Even if you have it, you can still have a healthy baby by doing simple things to manage your blood sugar. The good thing is that diabetes during pregnancy usually goes away after child birth.
Symptoms of diabetes during pregnancy
Here are some common symptoms that we tend to ignore that could be a marker for diabetes during pregnancy. If you find yourself experiences any of the following symptoms, do talk to your doctor so he/she can prescribe blood work & urine routine to confirm.
- constantly feeling tired & blurred vision
- have a dry mouth & feeling thirsty
- constant need to urinate
Causes for gestational diabetes
While you’re expecting, your body has to make extra insulin as the hormones from the placenta make your body less responsive to it. If your body can’t meet this extra demand, your blood sugar levels will rise and you may develop gestational diabetes.
Here are common reasons that could make you more prone to it
- A history of gestational diabetes in your family
- Being overweight, so it is important to control weight gain during pregnancy
- If you’ve had gestational diabetes in earlier pregnancies
Dangers of diabetes during pregnancy
Most women with gestational diabetes have healthy babies if it is recognised earlier on during pregnacy and managed. If it is not controlled the sugar can cross the placenta to your baby. This can cause
- Increased amniotic fluid around the baby
- Increased risk of C-section
- It can also make your baby grow big causing problems during child birth
- In very rare cases, it can be fatal for the baby
Prevention of diabetes during pregnancy
While there are no guarantees to prevent it as it could also be due to your genetics, you can reduce risk of getting gestational diabetes by
- Eating healthy and choosing complex carbohydrates. Avoid sugary treats and drinks and keeping them as a occasional indulgence
- Keeping active alongside eating healthy keeps a check on your blood sugar levels. Read about during pregnancy work-outs here
- Watching your weight gain and keeping it healthy gain
- Staying stress free and happy. Read our article of reducing stress here
Testing for gestational diabetes
Most doctors prescribe a blood test during 3rd trimester of pregnancy to access your sugar levels.
Urine test is done to check the amount of sugar in the urine. If this level is higher than normal, it is an indication of gestational diabetes.
A fasting plasma glucose test is done if your doctor thinks you have a low risk of developing diabetes. For this, your blood sample will be taken once on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
If the urine test shows elevated sugar levels, your doctor will prescribe what is called the GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test). The GTT is done in the morning on an empty stomach with at least 8 hours of fasting. Blood sample is taken while fasting to get a baseline blood sugar measurement. Then you’ll be given glucose and your blood will be drawn again after 2 hours. This second sample how well your body is able to handle & process sugar. This test will help the doctors access the expected growth of baby & potential risks during child birth.
Treatment for gestational diabetes
The best was to treat it is by eating right and getting exercise during pregnancy. Your doctor will want to keep a closer watch if she thinks you will not be able to control it with diet & exercise.
She is likely to order extra ultrasound scans to check on the baby’s growth & the amniotic fluid. She will also ask you to monitor your baby’s movements closely. If you feel your baby isn’t moving as much at any point in time, let your doctor know immediately. Your doctor may prescribe insulin injections to keep the blood sugar under control.
Also Read: How To Dress For Your Pregnancy Scans
Pregnancy is a special phase and can be beautiful and stress-free if you manage your health well. We at Morph Maternity wish you a happy pregnancy. You can check out our range of maternity dresses & essentials in our online store MorphMaternity.com 🙂