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Gestational Diabetes Diabetes and Pregnancy

Diabetes can develop during pregnancy in a woman who hasn't previously had the condition. This is called gestational diabetes, which affects two to three per cent of pregnant women. If it is not properly controlled, it can lead to problems for the mother or her baby.

Pregnancy is a very special time in any woman's life. It is a time of great joy but also of anxiety and questions such as: How will I cope with the pregnancy? With labor and delivery? Will my baby be OK? These questions may be even more troublesome for women with diabetes. Having children is a big decision for anyone. If you are a woman who has diabetes, however, it is a decision that requires much more thought and careful planning. Many women who have diabetes (Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes) have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies What Is It? Gestational Diabetes is where the pregnant woman's body is not able to produce enough of the hormone Insulin. This means that her body is not able to break down the sugar that she consumes and convert it to energy.

Therefore her blood sugar levels will be high and this will be passed on to the baby, which can cause problems. Who Can Get It? The pregnant women most likely to be affected will fit the following criteria; ? Overweight ? Age 35 plus ? Family history of diabetes ? Previously given birth to a large baby ? Previously given birth to a baby with an abnormality ? Suffered a stillbirth in late pregnancy What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes? One of the problems of gestational diabetes is that it does not manifest itself with clear symptoms. The symptoms common to high blood sugar (thirst, frequent urination, hunger) sometimes occur, but all of them are common in the latter stages of pregnancy. Having children is a big decision for anyone. If you are a woman who has diabetes, however, it is a decision that requires much more thought and careful planning.

Many women who have diabetes (Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes) have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. But this isn't to say that it's an easy experience ? it requires a lot of work and dedication on your part. Am I at risk of developing gestational diabetes? If you have one or more of the following factors you are more likely to develop gestational diabetes: * Having a family history of Type 2 diabetes in a close relative (parents or brothers and sisters) * Having gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy * If a previous baby had a birth defect Management During Pregnancy Maintain diabetic control at target values at all times.

The diet should be 35-40 calories per Kg ideal body weight. Basically, this is her routine diabetic diet plus 500 calories; it is a fallacy that pregnancy requires a diet for two! The diet will need to be tailored to suit the individual patient and adjustments will be required for women who cannot take their prescribed diet due to intense nausea and vomiting. If the patient is not controlled with diet alone, she will require insulin therapy. Most women will require intensive insulin regimens.

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