Gestational diabetes is a common complication of high blood sugar (glucose) that develops during pregnancy and affects about 6% of pregnancies worldwide. In India, as an estimate about 4 million women are suffering from Gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is more prevalent in-
- Family history
- Obesity during pregnancy
- History of delivery of a large baby (more than 9 pounds).
- History of baby suffering from various birth defects
- History of Gestational diabetes
- Certain ethnic backgrounds such as Hispanic, African, Asian, Pacific Islander, or
- Old age pregnancy (after 30 years)
Complications or Risk Factors
- As per CDC, a high glucose level in the mothers blood is likely to transfer a large fraction of glucose into the fetus blood which leads to an abnormal fetal growth.If left untreated, it can cause serious pregnancy complications due to a large size baby. A baby of 9 pounds or more can lead to birth trauma during pregnancy and requires an immediate C-section.
- Even after the delivery of the newborn baby, he or she may suffer from a low blood sugar level, respiratory distress syndrome, and jaundice. Also, the baby will have increased risk of diabetes, obesity and other complications later in life.
- Likewise, a woman with gestational diabetes is likely to have up to 60 percent more risk of suffering from Type 2 diabetes later in life besides developing the risk of high blood pressure and preeclampsia as well.
Signs or symptoms
Usually, no signs or symptoms are noticeable to most of the women.
Whenever a woman plans to get pregnant she must consult a doctor to evaluate any risk of gestational diabetes.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Once pregnancy is confirmed, the gynecologist will suggest testing for gestational diabetes as a part of routine prenatal care. In case a woman has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, she needs to go for more frequent checkups especially during the last three months of pregnancy for her blood sugar and fetus health examinations.
As a part of the treatment plan, the physician may recommend monitoring blood sugar daily. Insulin is given when there is trouble in controlling blood sugar levels. In various pregnancy complications, more tests can be prescribed to examine the functioning of the placenta and fetus health.
Right after delivery, a healthcare professional will again examine blood sugar level to make sure it has returned to normal. This blood sugar examination needs to be repeated after every six weeks.
Generally, in gestational diabetes, it is recommended to test blood sugar level regularly at least every three years.