Getting to Know Gestational Diabetes in Pregnant Women
Pregnancy causes many changes in a woman’s body. Not only the physical form, the function of the organs of the body also changes. Therefore, pregnant women have a risk of suffering from diabetes which only occurs during pregnancy. Diabetes in pregnant women is known as gestational diabetes. Check out the following explanation.
Get to know Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how the body’s cells use sugar. This condition causes high blood sugar and can affect pregnancy and the health of the baby.
During pregnancy, you can help control gestational diabetes by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and taking medication if necessary. Blood sugar control is necessary to maintain the health of you and your baby in the womb.
If you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your blood sugar will generally return to normal after delivery.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
In most cases, gestational diabetes has no specific symptoms. Symptoms will appear when blood sugar levels increase (hyperglycemia). Some of the common symptoms are:
- Feeling thirsty more often.
- More frequent urination.
- Easily tired.
- Mouth feels dry.
Some of these symptoms are common during pregnancy and are not always symptoms of gestational diabetes. If you feel these symptoms and are worried, then you should consult an ob-gyn doctor.
Also Read: The Danger of Anemia in Pregnant Women You Need to Be Aware of
Causes of Gestational Diabetes
Researchers do not know exactly what causes diabetes in pregnant women. However, this condition can occur when the body does not produce enough insulin during pregnancy.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. This hormone is the key to distributing sugar to other body cells so that it can be used as energy.
During pregnancy, the body will produce more hormones which can lead to various changes in the body, such as changes in body weight. These changes can cause the body’s cells to use insulin less effectively. Ultimately, this condition can lead to insulin resistance.
Pregnant women experience insulin resistance in late pregnancy or late pregnancy. However, some women may already have insulin resistance even before pregnancy. When these women are pregnant, the need for insulin increases, so the risk of suffering from gestational diabetes will increase.
Who Is at Risk for Gestational Diabetes?
All women are at risk for developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy. However, you have a higher risk if you have the following conditions:
- Pregnant over the age of 40.
- Have a body mass index over 30.
- Have given birth to a baby weighing 4.5 kg or more at birth.
- Have a history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.
- One parent or sibling has diabetes.
- Experience polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Rarely do physical activity.
Impact of Gestational Diabetes on Pregnancy
If treated properly, most women with gestational diabetes can have normal pregnancies and healthy babies. However, there are some dangers of diabetes in pregnant women that you should watch out for. Some of the hazards in question include:
1. Babies are Born Bigger
If your blood sugar is higher than normal, the baby in the womb will grow bigger. This condition will make the delivery process difficult so that it may require a caesarean section.
2. Premature Birth
High blood sugar increases the risk of giving birth before 37 weeks of gestation. Labor that occurs before the predicted time is known as preterm birth.
3. Hypoglycemia in Infants
In some conditions, babies can have low blood sugar after birth. In severe cases, the baby can have seizures.
4. Infant Death
Diabetes in pregnant women who are not treated can be at risk of infant death before or after the baby is born.
Also Read: List of Foods for Pregnant Women with Gestational Diabetes
Pregnant women with gestational diabetes may have a risk of complications in the form of high blood pressure. This condition is known as preeclampsia.
6. Suffering from Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus After Giving Birth
Women with gestational diabetes are at risk for suffering from the same thing in subsequent pregnancies. In addition, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes also increases with age.
Prevention of Gestational Diabetes
There is no certainty in preventing diabetes in pregnant women. However, you are advised to live a healthy lifestyle even before pregnancy.
If you have a history of this condition before, you can reduce your risk of similar events in the following ways:
1. Undergo a Healthy Diet
How to prevent diabetes in pregnancy can be started with pregnant women’s daily intake. Choose foods that are rich in fiber and low in fat and calories. You can focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Also, don’t forget to manage your meal portions and make sure each plate is full of complete nutrition, from carbohydrates, protein, to fiber.
The next step to prevent gestational diabetes is regular exercise. Although the options are limited, pregnant women need to actively exercise before and during pregnancy.
You can do sports for 30 minutes every day. Some activities that can be done, including cycling, swimming, and walking.
3. Start Pregnancy with Ideal Body Weight
If you are planning a pregnancy, keep your weight ideal. If the scale numbers have started to go up, start to reducing weight.
Having an ideal body weight can help you have a healthy pregnancy. Focus on making long-term changes to your diet, such as eating more vegetables and fruit.
4. Avoid excess weight
It’s normal for pregnant women to gain weight. However, if the weight gain is too fast and too much, then the risk of gestational diabetes will also increase.
You are advised to consult with your doctor to find out healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
Also Read: Important, These are 7 Characteristics of Pregnant Women Lacking Folic Acid
Gestational Diabetes Treatment
There are various ways you can do to help control diabetes in pregnant women. Here are some treatments that can be done, including:
- Measure blood sugar to ensure blood sugar is within normal limits.
- Follow a healthy diet with food choices and portions according to doctor’s recommendations.
- Doing exercise regularly.
- Monitor the condition of the fetus. The doctor will help you monitor the growth and development of the fetus in the womb.
This is an explanation about diabetes in pregnancy that needs to be watched out for. If a healthy diet and exercise are not enough to control blood sugar, the doctor may give insulin, metformin, and other drugs.
Keep monitoring the condition of your pregnancy by diligently checking the contents to the doctor. In addition, live a healthy lifestyle so that you and your fetus are healthy. Hope it is useful!
- Anonymous. 2021. Gestational Diabetes. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/gestational.html. (Accessed December 28, 2022).
- Anonymous. 2022. Gestational Diabetes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gestational-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355339. (Accessed December 28, 2022).
- Anonymous. 2022. Overview: Gestational Diabetes. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gestational-diabetes/. (Accessed December 28, 2022).
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