The journey to motherhood is as precious as your child. It is that stage in life where you experience all kinds of changes, both physical and mental.
It is also the time you need to be extra careful with your body. During your pregnancy, your body can go through unusual fluctuations. One such change is the change in your blood sugar levels. This temporary spike in your blood sugar level is called gestational diabetes.
Common Questions About Gestational Diabetes
For all those expectant mothers excited about the journey, here are answers to few of the most common questions about gestational diabetes.
1. What Is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is usually a temporary increase in the blood glucose levels that occurs during pregnancy and decreases after giving birth. It can occur at any stage of pregnancy but is more common during the second half.
This occurs when your body cannot produce enough insulin (a hormone that controls blood glucose)
This condition may cause certain problems for the mother and baby during and after birth. However, it can be avoided if gestational diabetes is detected and managed under the supervision of a doctor.
2. What Are The Common Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes does not come with specific symptoms. The easiest way to detect it is by running some tests. However, some women may face the following symptoms:1
- Feeling thirsty very often
- Urinating more than usual
- Dry mouth
Some women may also experience nausea and vaginal, bladder, and skin infections. Some may even have a blurred vision.2
However, if a pregnant woman faces these symptoms, it may not always be a sign of gestational diabetes. These are common symptoms experienced during pregnancy and if you want to be sure of the cause, communicating these signs
3. Who Is At A Risk Of Developing Gestational Diabetes?
Any woman who is pregnant is prone to developing gestational diabetes. However, there are certain women who may be at an increased risk of developing the condition than others. These may include the following:3
- Women who are over 25 years of age
- Women who have a family history of type 2 diabetes
- Women who are overweight
- Women who have experienced gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies
- Women who have given birth to large babies (baby weight of 4.5 kg or 10 lbs)
4. What Problems Can Gestational Diabetes Cause?
Although gestational diabetes is temporary for most women, there are chances the condition can affect
- Unusual growth in babies that may cause difficulty during delivery, which may require induced labor or cesarean section
- Too much amniotic fluid – the fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb – which may cause premature labor
- Premature birth
- An increase in blood pressure
- A decrease in blood sugar in the baby
- An increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future
5. How Can One Manage Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes can initially be managed by eating healthy and exercising regularly. One of the first steps to control gestational diabetes is to keep a check on your diet. The following are some tips to follow to keep a control on your blood sugar levels:5
- Choose nutritious sources of carbohydrates like whole grain bread, pulses, fruits, and vegetables.
- Since carbohydrates have an impact on the blood sugar levels, it is important to spread them throughout the day.
- Do not consume starchy foods in excess as they turn into glucose.
- Drink only one cup of milk at a time. Though it is an important source of calcium, it is also a form of carbohydrate that can impact the blood sugar.
- Fruits are healthy, however, they are high in natural sugars. Therefore, eat one to three portions of fruits per day. One portion of fruit is a small piece of fruit or half of a large piece of fruit. It is best to avoid fruit juices.
- A meal rich in protein and starch is suitable for breakfast.
Keeping physically active is as important as eating healthy to keep your blood glucose levels under control. Medium intensity physical activity is good both for the mother and the baby. Physical activity helps to reduce insulin resistance.
Walking, taking the stairs instead of the lift, and practicing yoga are certain physical activities
After the baby is born, gestational diabetes disappears on its own. A blood test can ensure that your glucose levels are back to normal. For those who are at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it is important to get a blood test done regularly.
|↑1||Gestational diabetes. National Health Services (NHS) Choices.|
|↑2||Gestational Diabetes. American Pregnancy Association.|
|↑3||Gestational Diabetes. Diabetes Australia.|
|↑4||Gestational diabetes. National Health Services (NHS) Choices.|
|↑5||Dietary Recommendations for Gestational