Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It affects about 7% of pregnant women and usually develops in the second or third trimester.
Key facts about gestational diabetes:
1. What causes gestational diabetes?
During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that can cause insulin resistance, making it harder for the body to use insulin effectively. This can lead to high blood sugar levels and gestational diabetes.
2. What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?
Most women with gestational diabetes do not experience any symptoms. However, some women may experience increased thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue.
3. How is gestational diabetes diagnosed?
Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Your doctor will perform a glucose challenge test to check your blood sugar levels. If the test results are abnormal, a glucose tolerance test will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
4. How is gestational diabetes treated?
Gestational diabetes is usually managed through a combination of healthy eating, regular physical activity, and monitoring blood sugar levels. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help control blood sugar levels.
5. What are the risks of gestational diabetes?
Untreated gestational diabetes can lead to complications such as macrosomia (a large baby), preterm delivery, and preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy). Women with gestational diabetes are also at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
6. Can gestational diabetes be prevented?
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent gestational diabetes, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and staying physically active.
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it is important to work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your blood sugar levels and ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Diabetes in Pregnancy Class:
This is a class for expectant mothers who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. A diabetes care and education specialist will complete an individual assessment with each participant.
A group or individual class is also conducted to teach the women and their families:
- effective meal planning
- blood glucose monitoring
- how to control blood glucose during their pregnancies