10 Things You Should Know About Gestational Diabetes

By at December 19, 2010 | 4:40 pm | Print

10 Things You Should Know About Gestational Diabetes

10 Things You Should Know About Gestational Diabetes
by Tricia Hoyt

  1. Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy leaving high levels of sugar in your blood.
  2. You should get tested for gestational diabetes no later than 24-28 weeks gestation or sooner if you are at risk.
  3. You can be considered high risk for gestational diabetes if: You’re obese (BMI over 30), You’ve had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, You have sugar in your urine, You have a strong family history of diabetes
  4. Just because the initial glucose screening is positive doesn’t mean you have gestational diabetes. It does mean that you’ll need to take a longer follow-up test (a 3 hour glucose tolerance test)
  5. If diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you should meet with a registered dietician or nutritionist.
  6. Keeping your blood glucose in a target range using a meal plan, physical activity, oral medications or insulin injections if needed treats gestational diabetes.
  7.  To help keep your blood glucose levels on target you may have to use a blood glucose meter to prick your finger when you wakeup, just before meals and 1-2 hours after meals.
  8. You may be advised to get extra tests to check on your baby-such as an ultrasound exam, to see how the baby is growing, “Kick Counts” to check baby’s activity (time between movements). Non-stress tests or Modified Bio-Physical Profiles may also be scheduled.
  9. Gestational diabetics may have a higher incidence of increased blood pressure during pregnancy, caesarean section and are at risk of developing type-2 diabetes mellitus later in life.
  10. Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are typically at increased risk of problems such as macrosomia (large for gestational age), low blood sugar and jaundice at birth.  Gestational diabetes is a treatable condition and women who have adequate control of glucose levels can effectively decrease these risk.

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