What You Should Know About Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy

During my pregnancy, my personal doctor has alerted me about a condition known as Gestational Diabetes.  This is because we have a family history of Diabetes which puts me at a higher risk of developing diabetes at this stage.  On this post, I would like to share some facts for all the ladies who are currently expecting and on the way to childbirth.

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If you’re not familiar about gestational diabetes, it is a type of diabetes which can be acquired during the pregnancy period or during the gestation period.  The condition is actually similar to Type2 Diabetes Mellitus where in the person’s sugar levels in blood can increase, which can bring about further complications.  Apparently, hormonal changes during pregnancy can block insulin from doing what it’s supposed to do, which is to keep our blood sugar levels regulated.

People with a family history of diabetes are not the only ones at risk.  If you are older than 25 years old, if you have been overweight prior to your pregnancy, if you have a problem with high blood pressure, if you are a smoker, and if you have had an unexplained miscarriage in the past, then you are at a greater risk and you need to be a lot more careful.

How would you know if you are starting to develop gestational diabetes?  What are the symptoms that you need to be aware of?  The typical symptoms are not life threatening and would usually disappear after you have given birth.  For instance, you might experience frequent thirst and the frequent urge to urinate, the feeling of unexplained tiredness, unexplained weight loss, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

While most of the symptoms are common for women who are in the first trimester of their pregnancy, these signs related to gestational diabetes may start during the 2nd trimester and continue through the third trimester.  In some cases though, the symptoms of gestational diabetes are too mild to be noticed.  This is why it’s very important for expectant moms to work closely with their doctors and not to miss their pre-natal check-ups.

Gestational diabetes is very easy to diagnose.  Your doctor may choose to conduct an oral glucose tolerance test to find out if you have this condition.  If your doctor suspects that you are at a higher risk, you might be given this test at an earlier stage of your pregnancy.  What’s great is that once you know your health condition, you will be able to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and avoid problems or complications.

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Your doctor may recommend that you use a glucose reading device so you can regularly monitor your blood sugar levels from home at any time.  It is very simple to use. You just need to prick your finger with the tester and drop a tiny blood sample to the glucose meter to get a reading.  I have used this device myself; it’s not scary and it doesn’t hurt at all.

The most important practice for people with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing diabetes is to keep a close watch on their blood sugar levels.  As long as you can keep your blood sugar level at a normal range – not too high, and not too low, you should be fine.  There’s nothing for you to worry about and you can be calm knowing that you and your baby are both healthy.

It is a major requirement that pregnant women go through regular prenatal check-ups all throughout the pregnancy.  Your doctor may suggest other tests such as ultrasound test and nonstress test to ensure that your baby is developing healthily inside your womb.   Even if you are not at risk of developing gestational diabetes, prenatal checkups are a must.

Another crucial aspect to watch out for during your pregnancy is your diet.  Your doctor should be able to help you out and may give you a list of foods that you should eat more and foods that you should avoid, especially during the last trimester.

For instance, my doctor has advised me to go on a special diet because he doesn’t want me to gain unwanted pounds which can make delivery unnecessarily difficult and risky for both me and my baby.  To stay on my ideal weight, I had to watch out what I eat as I enter my last quarter but we also made sure that I will get my baby would get all the nutrients needed for healthy development.

My diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables and good protein while I had to limit my intake of sweets and fatty food.  I also steered clear from pre-processed foods as these usually contain saturated fat and hydrogenated fat which are not good at all.  I also preferred to drink milk and fresh fruit juices over soda and artificial beverages.  I had to control myself and eat a moderate serving each meal time.  Along with a well-balanced diet, my doctor has prescribed supplements that are essential for me and my baby such as folate, iron and calcium.

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Fortunately, I didn’t have much a problem with my blood sugar levels. I was able to keep it at just the right range so long as I followed my doctor’s recommended diet.  However, in some cases, taking insulin might be necessary to regulate the blood sugar level which is why regular monitoring is crucial.

Gestational diabetes would usually disappear after childbirth but there is also the possibility for the condition to develop to Type 2 Diabetes if not treated correctly.  The best piece of advice I could give is to religiously attend your prenatal checkups.  Do not miss out on your appointment just because you feel tired or too lazy to get up. I know that there are days when you would rather stay at home than go anywhere.  However, your health and your baby’s life are at stake here so there really is no reason to miss an appointment.

Last but not least, you should dutifully follow your doctor’s advice particularly when it comes to making adjustments with your lifestyle.  If you work closely with your doctor during pregnancy, you will be confident knowing that you are well-taken care of so instead of being alarmed and worrying about the risks, focus on the solutions and the preventions. Please Check out our Website to get more tips and useful suggestion about Pregnancy.


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