Gestational Diabetes

Gestational DiabetesTubal reversal surgery has a high success rate and does not increase your risk of having gestational diabetes. However, many pregnant women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Proper prenatal care with Dr. Morice will help diagnose gestational diabetes, and proper nutrition will help a woman and her baby remain healthy during pregnancy.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common health conditions among pregnant women. It typically develops later in pregnancy, around weeks 24-28, when the baby is rapidly growing. Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition, and typically goes away after the baby is born.

What causes gestational diabetes?

Insulin resistance causes gestational diabetes. Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas. Its role is to help your body convert glucose into energy.

Pregnancy leads to many changes in the body. Typically, a woman needs to produce 3x as much insulin when she is pregnant than when is not. Due to this high demand, some women are unable to produce enough insulin during pregnancy. This means that the glucose in her blood is unable to enter her cells, which results in high blood sugar. Gestational diabetes is not the fault of the mother; it is just an effect of the many changes the body undergoes during pregnancy.

How can gestational diabetes affect my and my baby’s health?

Glucose crosses the placenta, so when a pregnant woman has high blood sugar, so does her baby. Insulin, however, does not cross the placenta. This means that when your growing baby has high blood sugar, he or she has to make extra insulin to normalize their blood sugar levels.  The baby’s body then uses the extra insulin to convert the glucose into energy, which is then stored as fat. Therefore, if uncontrolled, gestational diabetes can lead to an overweight baby.

An overweight baby poses risks during delivery. Because of their larger size, they are at higher risk for a difficult delivery and may require episiotomies or cesarean sections. Further, a baby can have a hard time readjusting its insulin levels once out of the womb. Babies born with excess insulin are at a higher risk for childhood obesity and type II diabetes. High blood sugar has also been linked to breathing problems in babies.

These problems are easily avoided, however, if gestational diabetes is diagnosed early and a woman adjusts her diet to keep her blood sugar in a safe range for her and her baby.

What should I do if I have gestational diabetes?

Your doctor will often suggest that you meet with a nutritionist who will help you develop a well-balanced meal plan for the remainder of your pregnancy. Typically, women are instructed to eat healthy, balanced meals of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They are also encouraged to avoid sugary foods such as sodas, cakes, and candy. These foods can raise your blood sugar out of the safe range. Many carbohydrate sources are made of white flour, a simple carbohydrate, which can also cause insulin spikes. Whole grain breads, fruits, and vegetables, which are sources of complex carbohydrates, are a safer alternative. Speak with your doctor about the best way to keep your blood sugar within the safe range.

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