Diabetes and Pregnancy
Diabetes can be present before pregnancy or can manifest de novo in mid-pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Such type of diabetes which occurs during pregnancy is known as Gestational Diabetes.
This needs to be detected on time as it leads to adverse complications for both the mother and the baby. One-tenth of all pregnant women may have gestational diabetes. Hence it is important to screen for blood sugar during pregnancy.
Adverse effects of Gestational diabetes
1. May develop Type I and Type II later
Mothers affected by GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus) may have an increased risk of developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes in later life. In many cases, diabetes normally goes away after delivery or it may take 6 -12 weeks. Therefore, blood sugar test should also be done after pregnancy to keep an eye on it.
2. Abruptio placentae
Gestational diabetes may develop complications like abruptio placentae. Where premature separation of placenta occurs from the uterus. Symptoms of abruptio placentae are bleeding, back and abdominal pain.
3. Placenta previa
Placenta previa was also known as the low lying placenta is a condition where placenta continues to lie in the lower part of the uterus. Gestational diabetes may cause placenta previa in the mother with symptoms like bleeding in mid and late pregnancy.
4. High risk of abortion and cesarean delivery
The baby born to diabetic mothers may be larger in size leading to difficulties during delivery. The babies also may be born before term or expected date of delivery. They can also be stillborn during delivery due to underdevelopment and difficult delivery.
5. Effect on babies
The baby born to diabetic mothers may be larger in size leading to difficulties during delivery. The babies also may be born before term or expected date of delivery. They can also be stillborn during delivery due to underdevelopment and difficult delivery. Children of a gestational diabetic mother may develop a rare heart condition. The children may be obese when they grow up and may have premature diabetes.
Gestational diabetes important steps to be taken
WHO has recommended testing for gestational diabetes routinely during 24 to 28 weeks. The test routinely done is the 75 gm glucose tolerance test. Blood sugar higher than 140 around 2 hours after taking this amount of glucose implies gestational diabetes.
Patients diagnosed with GDM should follow a suitable diet regime as per their doctors advise. If diet therapy fails to normalize blood sugars in 2 weeks then Insulin therapy may be required. The preferred medication in diabetes is insulin as it is safer for the baby than other drugs taken orally.
Hence it is necessary to ask your doctor regarding the tests done for diabetes especially when you have a family history and have been having GDM in the previous pregnancies. Steps like these will prevent problems both for you and your baby in the long run.