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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

How does diabetes during pregnancy affect the baby?

Gestational Diabetes is a kind of diabetes that occurs in women when they are pregnant. Women who do not have any history of increased blood sugar also develop this condition during the menstrual period. In general, it occurs in the middle of the menstruation especially between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. Such diabetic conditions during pregnancy go on their own after delivery.

    What causes Gestational Diabetes?

    Our Pancreas takes care of secreting insulin to convert the sugar consumed from the food we eat into energy. If there is a lack of insulin production or if the body does not use the hormone properly, then the sugar in the bloodstream will drastically rise. It will cause Diabetes that is actually increased blood sugar levels.

    The hormonal changes occurring inside the body of a pregnant woman influence the body's response to insulin. It is observed that human Placental Lactogen (hPL) produced by Syncytiotrophoblast will affect placental growth. Likewise, the hormone in a long run will make the body confronts the insulin.

    Then the level of glucose inside the blood increases and results in Gestational Diabetes.

    What are the Risk Factors with such pregnancy diabetes?

    Factors like health conditions, age, medical history and others are associated with diabetes in pregnancy. Some of such aspects are listed here:
    • Women over 25 years have high chances of pregnancy diabetes
    • Overweight
    • Women who are conceived more than once
    • Suffered from gestational diabetes earlier
    • Female who are suffered from Diabetes
    • Women who had miscarriages
    • Higher level of Triglycerides in blood
    • Health issues like high blood pressure
    Pregnancy diabetes exhibits various symptoms and signs like frequent urination, atypical thrust, fatigue, etc.

    What are the effects of Gestational Diabetes?

    The excess of blood sugar is harmful to affect both the expectant mother and the growing baby in her womb. The chances of miscarriages and premature birth are high with this condition. Few adverse effects of pregnancy diabetes include the following.

    It pushes a woman to get C-Section

    Gynecologists believe that the uncontrolled glucose in the blood will damage the blood vessels and modify the functionalities of the kidney. Such alterations in the performances of inner organs during the pregnancy period will cause obstacles in delivering the baby. Then the pregnant woman has to prefer Cesarean.

    A prolonged recovery period will be needed for the new mother if the baby is delivered with C-section.

    High Blood Pressure

    Gestational diabetes is linked with increased blood pressure. Such high blood pressure will harm the fetus. If it is left untreated, it will lead to premature birth and baby with low birth weight. Likewise, the increased pressure levels are harmful to form blood clots in the woman's brain during the delivery. It leads to stroke or seizures.


    It is low blood sugar levels. The higher doses of diabetes medications and insulin taken during the pregnant period will reduce the blood sugar levels lower than the adequate level. It is quite serious and requires immediate treatment.

    Untreated Hypoglycemia will affect the unborn baby and the little one also will be affected with low blood sugar.

    Overweight Baby

    The bloodstream of a pregnant woman provides the nutrients to the fetus inside. If the maternal blood has a high amount of glucose or sugars, then the pancreas of the fetus will produce more insulin in order to regulate the excessive sugar levels. The unprocessed glucose is converted into fat.

    The combination of higher glucose levels and excess of insulin inside the fetus lead to higher deposition of fat. It increases the baby's weight. Such extra size n baby's body will cause problems in delivery and mandates Cesarean section.

    Birth defects

    The organs of the unborn baby developing during the menstrual period might be affected by pregnancy diabetes. It is found that the infants of diabetic mothers are highly prone to various health problems when compared to the baby born for a non-diabetic woman. Some common birth defects arise due to gestational diabetes include:
    • Nerve damage
    • Kidney problems
    • Heart problems
    Apart from the birth defects, the increased blood pressure levels caused by diabetes is noxious to cause fetal death.

    How can pregnancy diabetes be treated?

    Luckily, the diabetic condition during pregnancy can be treated. The procedure varies based on the type of gestational diabetes that is categorized into types:
    • Class A1: It can be easily controlled by undergoing some lifestyle changes in order to keep the blood sugar in control. The important things to mention include switching to fewer calorie foods, keep your active with regular exercises, etc.
    • Class A2: This requires insulin injections and diabetic medications suggested by diabetic doctors to control the level of glucose in the blood.
    Taking a blood sugar test at regular intervals will help an expectant woman to find whether she had gestational diabetes or not. Typically, pregnancy diabetes can be diagnosed with an Initial glucose challenge test.

    If the blood glucose level exceeds 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter, it means the woman has pregnancy diabetes which can be confirmed with follow-up glucose tolerance testing like one-step test and two-step test.

    Likewise, fetal testing like ultrasound, Doppler flow studies, Fetal movement counting also will help a diabetic mother to detect the effect of gestational diabetes over the baby in the womb.

    What should a diabetic mother eat during pregnancy?

    As mentioned earlier, pregnancy diabetes can be controlled with a diabetes diet. It aids the expectant woman to get a safe delivery and a healthy baby. Gynecologists suggest that a pregnant woman should have three moderate meals throughout a day.

    • Take carbohydrate-rich foods like whole grains, dairy products, Oats, Banana, Beetroot, Apples. It is better to take these fruits at regular intervals instead of taking them comprehensively.
    • Eat food items like eggs, fishes, nuts and others that are rich in protein.
    • Prefer unsaturated and low glycemic index foods like peas, pasta, non-starchy vegetables.
    Besides sugary foods and drinks, avoiding starchy foods, acidic foods are also mandatory for the well-being of the baby.

    As the diabetic condition occurs in the middle of the trimester period, its effects can be controlled and prevention is possible if it is diagnosed in the earlier stage. Hence it is important to get screenings in the first trimester. Even though it goes off after the baby born, getting diabetic test after delivery is recommended. This is because some women develop type 2 diabetes after delivery. It can be averted with such periodical diabetic check-ups.



    Author: Dheenadayalan

    Dheenadayalan is a Blogger and loves to share informative things with the people. His interest in writing encourages him to go deep research in order to curate an article filled with enlightening things.

    That's all for today!
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