Diabetes in pregnancy

How To Deal With Diabetes During Pregnancy

How To Deal With Diabetes During Pregnancy
Diabetes in pregnancy

How To Deal With Diabetes During Pregnancy

 

Pregnancy is full of joy, but it is also full of hardships for the mother-to-be. Among the list of ailments that a pregnant woman has to endure, gestational diabetes might be one. In fact, 7%-10% of women in India suffer from diabetes during pregnancy. Even if you’re not a diabetic before pregnancy, you could get gestational diabetes if your glucose tolerance level is low.

Gestational diabetes can be caused by various factors, especially if you’ve suffered from a previous pregnancy, if you have PCOS, high BMI or a family history of the disease. Your doctor will advise to do a screening of diabetes in early pregnancy with a blood test or oral glucose test. If you do get diagnosed with it, here are some complications you and your baby could face.

Complications on your baby:

1.        Larger birth weight

Since there is extra glucose in your bloodstream, it reaches the baby through the placenta. The baby’s pancreas make more insulin causing it to weigh more than normal babies.

2.       Premature birth

Since the mother’s blood pressure is high, it may lead to early labour. Sometimes, doctors suggest an early delivery since the baby in such cases is large.  

3.       Difficulty breathing

Babies who are born early or whose mothers have gestational diabetes may suffer from respiratory distress syndrome which causes breathing difficulties. Babies with this disorder need help breathing till their lungs become strong enough.

4.      Birth defects

Raised blood sugar in mothers can lead to birth defects, macrosomia (fat baby) or even miscarriage. Macrosomia can cause various problems in the baby after birth which includes damage to their shoulders.

5.       Jaundice

If you have gestational diabetes, your baby might develop jaundice. However, it does go away rapidly with treatment.  

 

Complications you could face:

Gestational diabetes is not only harmful for your baby but it has consequences on your health too.

1.        High chances of C-section

Most women with gestational diabetes are capable of having a normal delivery, however, if the condition is managed poorly, you might need a C-section birth. Especially since the baby’s shoulders and upper body is big in cases of women with gestational diabetes.

2.       High blood pressure and preeclampsia

Gestational diabetes may cause high blood pressure and preeclampsia in mothers. Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition which causes extreme high blood pressure which might even prove fatal.

3.       Risk of infections

Women with gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of infections of the vaginal tract like yeast infections.

4.      Diabetes in the future

If you have gestational diabetes, chances are you will get it again in future pregnancies. Also, as you get older, you might get type 2 diabetes. However, that can be avoided with healthy choices.

 

Although gestational diabetes might seem problematic, it can be managed. Here’s how.

Changing your lifestyle will go a long way in keeping your blood sugar levels in check.

-          Fibre-rich diet

Make sure your diet is full of fibre. Green peas, bhindi, carrots, apples, berries and sprouts like moong, matki and more are a good choice.

-          Mild exercise

Staying active is extremely important for you and your baby’s well-being. 20-30 minutes of exercise 4 times a week is recommended.

-          Low carb diet

A diet low in fat and calories is recommended. Stick to fresh vegetables and fruits to fulfil your nourishment quota.

 

You may have to do self-monitoring of blood sugar levels on a daily basis at home. If your blood sugar levels don’t go back to normal with a healthy diet and exercise, you might have to take medicines and insulin. In case of gestational diabetes, blood sugar levels usually come back to normal after delivery. However, it’s necessary to stick to a healthy diet and exercise to avoid complications in future pregnancies.

 

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