What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is the first diabetes detected in pregnant women. Some women who find out that gestational diabetes may actually have had mild diabetes before becoming pregnant have not been diagnosed.
What is diabetes mellitus?
Diabetes (also called "diabetes") is a condition caused by high blood glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar that provides the body with a major source of energy. When sugar is too high, it can cause health problems
What causes gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is caused by a change in a woman's insulin response during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone. It moves sugar out of the bloodstream and into the body's cells, where it can be converted into energy. During pregnancy, a woman's cells naturally become less resistant to the effects of insulin
The mother's body makes more insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. In a small number of women, even this increase is not enough to keep their blood sugar within normal limits. As a result, they develop gestational diabetes.
Will I be screened for gestational diabetes?
All pregnant women are screened for gestational diabetes. You may be asked about your medical history and risk factors or you may have a blood test to measure your blood glucose level. This test is usually done between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. It may be done sooner if you are at risk of getting sick
If I develop gestational diabetes, will I have diabetes?
For most women, gestational diabetes disappears after having a baby.
However, they still have a higher risk of later diabetes. For women with mild diabetes before pregnancy, they will have a lifetime.
Who is at risk of gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is more likely in women
Greater than 25 years old
Have had gestational diabetes earlier
Gave birth to a very big baby
There are relatives with diabetes
Had one at previous pregnancy
Being African-American, Indian-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, Latin, or Pacific American
How does gestational diabetes affect pregnancy?
Gestational diabetes increases the risk of having a very large baby (a condition called macrosomia) and may require a cesarean section. Hypertension and more common in women with gestational diabetes.
What are the risks for babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes?
Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes may have breathing problems, low sugar levels, and jaundice. With proper prenatal care and strict control of sugar levels, the risk of these problems is reduced.
What are the long-term effects of gestational diabetes on mothers and infants?
Women with gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of future diabetes, as do their children. Women with gestational diabetes will need to have regular diabetes screening after pregnancy.
Their children also need to be monitored for diabetes risk.
If I have gestational diabetes, how can I control it?
If you have gestational diabetes, you will need to control your blood sugar. To control blood sugar, you may need to monitor your sugar daily, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and sometimes take medicine.
If I have gestational diabetes, will I have to take medicine?
Gestational diabetes can often be controlled with diet and exercise. If diet and exercise aren't enough, medication may be needed to control your blood sugar level. Some women may take medicine, others may need insulin.
Will gestational diabetes affect childbirth?
Most women with gestational diabetes can give birth naturally but are more likely to have a cesarean section than women without diabetes to prevent problems during birth. Birth stimulation can also be used to give birth earlier than the due date.
If I have gestational diabetes, what should I do after pregnancy?
You should be screened for diabetes 6-12 weeks after delivery. If your postpartum blood sugar test is normal, you need to have your diabetes screened every 3 years. Your child will also be tested throughout childhood to see if there are risk factors for diabetes, such as obesity.
Caesarean: The birth of a baby through a surgical incision made in the mother's abdomen and uterus.
Diabetes: A condition in which the blood sugar level is too high.
Gestational diabetes: Diabetes arises during pregnancy.
Sugar: Sugar is present in the blood and is the body's main source of fuel.
Hormones: A substance made in the body by cells or organs, it controls the function of cells or organs.
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