Gestational diabetes is a blood sugar disorder that can happen during pregnancy. Although it usually isn’t a lasting condition, it has some potential long-term effects. It can also cause complications during birth, and it may affect the baby as well. If you are planning a pregnancy, it’s a good idea to learn all you can about dealing with gestational diabetes.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
A pregnant woman’s body needs to produce more insulin than usual. If it cannot do that, she will develop high blood sugar levels.
Any pregnant woman can have gestational diabetes. However, you may be more at risk depending on your age, weight, ethnicity, and other factors. If your gynecologist has reasons to suspect that you are at risk, they may refer you to other professionals.
Why Is It Dangerous?
When you have gestational diabetes, you will most likely have a normal pregnancy. However, you’ll need very frequent checkups. Your body may develop too much amniotic fluid, which can cause you to go into labor too early or complicate the birth itself.
Gestational diabetes doesn’t have a long-term impact on your baby. But it may make your baby grow larger than usual or have low blood sugar after birth.
If you had gestational diabetes once, you will likely have it again the next time you’re pregnant. Additionally, it increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
What about Treatment?
The most important part of dealing with gestational diabetes is showing up for every checkup. Doctors have to monitor women who have this condition more closely than usual. After birth, the baby’s blood sugar levels need to be checked several times.
Usual treatments for gestational diabetes include:
• A careful diet plan. It’s important not to lose weight when you are pregnant. But an experienced dietician can help you find the best way to control your blood sugar levels and get all the nutrients you need.
• Medication, such as insulin. Depending on your blood sugar levels, your doctor may prescribe insulin injections or other meds.
• Regular ultrasounds. Sometimes induced birth is the best option for you and the baby.
A good gynecologist will recognize the warning signs, and offer information and help.