What is gestational diabetes in pregnancy? Gestational diabetes, is a type of diabetes characterised by a spike or an increase in blood sugar levels during pregnancy which may affect the baby.
It’s important to know that sugar levels usually go back to normal soon after the delivery of the baby.
However, diabetes is reaching epidemic levels around the world, and is affecting more people than the ones that are diagnosed with it.
Living with diabetes is difficult, and requires one to manage their blood sugar levels every day, with every meal and activity they undertake to do.
Families of people living with diabetes also face problems and are constantly worried about them, even when they are not directly impacted by their blood sugar levels.
However, in one case of diabetes, your family may be directly affected by a spike or fall in your blood sugar levels.
As mentioned earlier, gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes characterised by a spike in blood sugar levels during pregnancy may affect the baby and the health of the foetus or fetus.
Blood sugar levels usually go back to normal after the pregnancy, but maybe a risk factor for type-2 diabetes in the future.
This spike in blood sugar levels during pregnancy can have an effect on the baby’s health as well.
What Is Gestational Diabetes In Pregnancy? How Gestational Diabetes Affects The Baby
G. diabetes may affect the baby while it is still in the mother’s body, and even later after it is born.
Like any pregnancy complication, gestational diabetes may also be worrisome. Gestational diabetes can affect the baby’s health in the following ways.
High Birth Weight
High birth weight can be caused due to gestational diabetes. Extra glucose in the mother’s bloodstream can cross the placenta.
The presence of extra sugar can cause the baby’s pancreas to make more insulin. This causes a condition called the macrosomia where the baby grows too large and may require a pre-term c-section birth, or might sustain birth injuries if delivered normally.
Low-Blood Sugar Or Hypoglycemia
When the high blood sugar levels in the mother’s blood cross the placenta, the baby’s body begins to make more insulin.
Because of this reason, the baby may develop hypoglycemia or low blood sugar as the production of insulin in the baby’s body is high.
The incidences of pre-term birth are on a rise, globally, and gestational diabetes increases the rise of the condition. High blood sugar can increase the risk of early labour and delivering the baby before the due date.
Since pre-term birth is also linked with the baby being overweight, in some cases, the doctor may suggest an early delivery due to the size and weight of the baby.
Pre-term birth is linked with an increased risk of respiratory problems. Babies born before the due date may experience respiratory distress syndrome.
Babies born with this condition may find it difficult to breathe since their lungs are weak. Some babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes may suffer from respiratory problems, even when they are not born early.
Risk Of Type-2 Diabetes
Since genetics have a role to play in the onset or risk of diabetes, children born to mothers with gestational diabetes may be at an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes in their life.
Can Gestational Diabetes Be Prevented?
While the condition can lead to various complications, the good news is that gestational diabetes can be prevented and treated during the pregnancy.
Making sure your body is fit and healthy, in terms of weight and otherwise, eating healthily during the pregnancy and staying active can considerably reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Some women may also need medication to manage their blood sugar levels during pregnancy. It is advised that they always consult their doctor before beginning, or skipping any medicines, especially during pregnancy.
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